An effort to test a higher percentage of Kenosha County residents for COVID-19 began this morning, with the opening of a new, drive-thru testing site in a parking lot at Gateway Technical College’s Kenosha Campus.
A joint venture between the Kenosha Community Health Center, the Kenosha County Division of Health and Gateway, the site is open to patients who have been selected by health care providers for screening by the Division of Health.
“We have seen a great need for testing among our residents and the clients our health department investigates and serves,” said Dr. Jen Freiheit, Kenosha County Health Officer. “This amazing partnership with the Kenosha Community Health Center will provide this much-needed service to our community.
“In order to control the virus within Kenosha County, we need to increase testing while increasing the knowledge and awareness of how to stay safe during this pandemic.”
Those referred to the site will include fellow household members and other close contacts of people who have tested positive — including Kenosha Community Health Center patients and other members of the community determined to need testing by public health practitioners. Individuals should not call the Kenosha County Division of Health directly to seek screening.
Dr. Mary Ouimet, CEO of the Kenosha Community Health Center, said her organization is proud to serve as an important part of a communitywide strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19, as community health centers nationwide are playing a critical role in the response to the virus.
“We have worked in strong partnership with our Kenosha County Division of Health from the early stages of the virus and will continue to partner to meet the needs of the Kenosha community,” Ouimet said.
Ouimet said the testing center — based out of KCHC’s new Medical Mobile Response Unit — will be staffed by a multidisciplinary team hired and deployed to serve as a safety net to Kenosha County’s highest-risk populations. Although testing will be the initial focus, Ouimet said services are designed to be flexible and evolve based on needs that arise from each phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gateway Technical College President Bryan Albrecht said the college is pleased to host the testing facility.
“It is a privilege for Gateway Technical College to support the Kenosha County Health Department and the citizens of Kenosha County in the fight against the coronavirus,” Albrecht said. “Providing a safe environment for medical professionals to serve, and a convenient way for citizens to receive testing, is important for the success of the drive-thru testing center on Gateway’s Kenosha Campus.”
For more information about COVID-19 in our community, including statistics and links to resources, visit the Kenosha County COVID-19 hub at www.kenoshacounty.org/covid-19.
The Kenosha County Joint Information Center encourages people with questions about COVID-19 that they cannot answer online to dial 2-1-1 or visit the 2-1-1 website, https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/.