DULUTH – A new COVID-19 testing site at the University of Wisconsin-Superior that promises results in 15 minutes opened Monday to all Wisconsin and Minnesota residents ages 5 and up who want a test.
Part of a federal rollout of community "surge testing" sites as cases skyrocket around the nation, the temporary testing site at the Marcovich Wellness Center will be open from 2 to 6 p.m. this week. It is expected to remain available for five to six weeks; advance registration is required as there are a limited number of spots per day.
The self-administered nasal-swab antigen tests will be confirmed with PCR tests if needed.
Superior and Douglas County have seen a 12% increase in reported cases in the past week, according to state data, with the university reporting just four on-campus cases in the past week.
Across the bay, St. Louis County set a record for new daily cases on Monday — 190 — and has seen a 25% increase in the past seven days as Minnesota comes off a week of record-setting daily case totals that has helped push hospitals toward capacity.
"I am so grateful to everyone who has stepped up to make this happen in such a short time," UWS Chancellor Renee Wachter said in a statement. "Your efforts will undoubtedly save lives and help our community weather this difficult time."
A Minnesota-run saliva testing site at the DECC recently opened to Wisconsin residents. Those tests are also open to anyone regardless of symptoms, and results are typically available within three days.
At the beginning of the pandemic's arrival in Minnesota and Wisconsin, tests were in extremely short supply and largely limited to high-risk patients and health care workers. It often took a week or more to receive results.
Wisconsin, which has seen the third-fastest growth in cases in the past week, joins states such as South Dakota and Missouri opening federally funded rapid-testing sites as national case numbers reach record highs. More than 100,000 new cases are being recorded daily in the U.S.
The testing push comes as Pfizer shared positive results about its vaccine Monday morning. With several regulatory hurdles still to go, the company said up to 25 million people could be given the vaccine by the end of the year.