UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Update: The drive-up, self-swab testing site at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field will open Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 10 a.m. and will be available Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the next several weeks.
November 4, 2020 – University of Wisconsin System campuses, including UW-River Falls, will serve as surge testing sites across the state, UW System President Tommy Thompson announced today. In response to state and local outbreaks, these sites will provide a new rapid-results COVID-19 test for free to help more quickly identify new cases, including asymptomatic individuals.
In partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), UW System will receive 250,000 Abbot BinaxNOW tests for distribution to its 13 campuses. UW-River Falls anticipates receiving an allocation of tests sufficient for performing approximately 200 rapid antigen tests/day, as well as an appropriate allocation of confirmatory diagnostic PCR tests, for use when required.
The tests provided by HHS will enhance efforts to stop the spread in Wisconsin communities through rapid identification of those who may have the virus. Campuses are being given the opportunity to identify which populations will benefit most from access to the new COVID-19 testing. UW-River Falls will prioritize use of the BinaxNOW tests for its employees and for community members, including the uninsured. Individuals do not have to be experiencing symptoms or be a close contact of someone with COVID-19 to get a test, nor do they need to live in the community where the testing site is located. Any individual five years of age and older may get tested at the surge testing site.
All UW-River Falls students, both on and off campus, will continue using UWRF’s existing on-campus testing site in Hagestad Hall to allow for more immediate and thorough case management, including contact tracing and isolation. Since implementing its student testing program in September, the university has performed more than 7,600 student tests.
“We’ve seen the benefit of testing students on the UWRF campus in helping to contain the virus. We are pleased to be able to expand COVID-19 testing to all of our employees as well as to all members of our local community,” said UWRF Interim Chancellor Connie Foster. “This partnership with UW System and HHS has the potential to significantly slow the spread of the virus in our community and protect the health of many more people, including those most vulnerable.”
UW-River Falls expects to have the surge testing site open midweek next week, with testing available Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The tests will be done at a drive-up site at David Smith Stadium at Ramer Field on campus. Individuals seeking to be tested need to first register online at www.doineedacovid19test.com. Available testing slots at the UWRF location will be posted to the website as soon the testing schedule is finalized.