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UW–Madison offers surge testing to community amid rise in cases

November 11, 2020

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UW-Madison will offer free COVID-19 testing to area residents, ages five years and older, beginning Thursday, Nov. 12. This testing is for members of the public and participants do not need to be UW–Madison students or employees.

Rapid antigen testing from Abbott BinaxNOW delivers results in as little as 15 minutes. Tests will be available by appointment only at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. The site is fully accessible.

A separate testing site will be made available for UW students, faculty, and staff next week.

The 13 UW System universities received approximately 250,000 tests from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Approximately 80,000 tests have been allocated to UW–Madison through the end of the 2020. Wisconsin was targeted for these tests by HHS because of the recent outbreaks across the state. The BinaxNOW tests are intended to help local, state, and federal public health experts identify new cases and better understand how the virus is spreading in our communities.

“We have the opportunity to offer expanded testing to the general Madison community in our facilities,” Chancellor Rebecca Blank said. “Testing is only one part of the solution to slow the spread of this virus; we also need to follow all the health protocols of masking and social distancing.  But expanded testing is an important way to identify those who are ill and limit spread.”

A PCR test will be required to confirm a positive result from the BinaxNOW test. Both will be available free of charge at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium, where participants can find free parking in Lot 82. The site is also accessible by Madison Metro routes 2 and 10, with the nearest stop at Highland and Marsh. Signage will be posted in the parking lot and bus stops to direct participants to Nielsen Tennis Stadium. Drive-up testing is not an option at this site.

Participants must make an appointment online at prior to arrival. Test results and site hours will be available on the same website. Testing appointments for members of the Madison community open Thursday, November 12 and will be available through at least December 23. Initially, the site will provide 50 community tests each day with plans to increase to 500 daily tests.

Participants are not required to have experienced COVID-19 symptoms or have been a close contact of someone who has already tested positive for COVID-19. Residents from outside Dane County are also permitted to register for testing.

Translated materials will be available in the coming days.

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