FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2021
Contact:
Elizabeth Goodsitt, 608-266-1683
Jennifer Miller, 608-266-1683

DHS Reminds Wisconsinites of COVID-19 Testing Options

As Omicron cases increase, DHS urges Wisconsinites to get tested before traveling and attending gatherings

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) reminds Wisconsinites of the various ways to get tested for COVID-19. Trusted testing partners include local health departments, community testing sites, pharmacies, and health care providers. Over the counter rapid at-home COVID-19 tests can also be used before gathering with family and friends. DHS currently provides free at-home collection kits which you can send to a lab for results for all Wisconsinites.

“We have to keep working together to fight this virus, and that includes making sure folks have the opportunity to get tested for COVID-19,” said Governor Tony Evers. “As rapidly transmitting Omicron cases continue to be detected, we are urging all Wisconsinites to get tested before traveling or attending gatherings to help protect our family, friends, and neighbors.”

Regardless of vaccination status, if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 stay home and do not attend gatherings until you are able to get tested. First, contact your doctor to ask if your primary health care clinic provides testing. If testing is not available, you can find a free community testing site near you. Some locations may require an appointment. You can also take a test at home. Testing is particularly important given how quickly omicron is spreading throughout the country and in Wisconsin.

If you are planning to travel or gather with people who do not live with you, especially if you were recently in public settings without a tight-fitting mask, consider using a rapid over-the-counter at-home test, available at many pharmacies and online. Wisconsinites can also request at-home collection kits, a type of at-home test, to be delivered to their home at no cost. The results of these tests are usually available in several days. See a list of products approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. If you need help finding a test, contact 211 Wisconsin by calling 211 or 877-947-2211 or texting COVID to 211-211.

“Testing will give you the information you need to know to keep your loved ones safe from COVID-19,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Deb Standridge. “It is essential that we use every tool in our tool box to stop the spread of this deadly virus. In addition to getting tested before traveling or attending holiday gatherings, please take immediate action by masking up, getting the COVID-19 vaccine and your booster dose if you’re eligible—this is critically important for preventing hospitalizations and deaths across our state.”

Follow the DHS guidance on rapid at-home COVID-19 test results:

  • A positive at-home test result means that you likely are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. You should stay home or isolate for 10 days and should not attend gatherings with people outside of your household.
  • A negative at-home test result means that you are likely not infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, it is possible for a test to give a negative result in some people who have COVID-19. Consider repeating the test a day or two later. Multiple negative tests at least 24 hours apart will increase the confidence that you are not infected prior to gathering with others.
  • If you need help understanding your results or are concerned with the accuracy of your test result, contact your health care provider or a community testing site.

For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. We encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.