If you're in need of a quick COVID-19 test, the Wisconsin Hospital Association urges you to look somewhere other than your local emergency room.

As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 becomes widespread and cases continue to rise, there has been a push for the need for people to get tested.  Many workplaces are requiring negative tests for employees who have been out sick before they can come back to work.  And - many people just have a general want and need to know what their COVID-19 status is.

Unfortunately, many have been seeking those COVID-19 tests at their neighborhood emergency rooms.  And while it's true that an emergency room will generally see patients who walk in off the street - without at appointment, doing so just for a COVID-19 test puts an unnecessary drain on resources. That drain couldn't come at a more inconvenient time for the healthcare industry.

People Wait In Line For Coronavirus Tests At Dane County Fairgrounds As Wisconsin Cases Surge
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The Wisconsin Hospital Association explains it's current situation:

"Emergency rooms throughout the state are under extreme stress due to surging COVID-19 cases as well as regular, seasonal increases in demand for medical services.  Patients seeking COVID-19 tests at hospitals not only delay the provision of urgent care in emergency rooms, but also raise the risk of virus spread among medically vulnerable patients."

In other words, hospital emergency rooms are serious medical issues like "strokes, heart attacks, motor vehicle accidents, (among) other ailments".  While you might want or need a fast-turn around on a COVID-19 test, unless there are other mitigating medical issues associated with that test and it's result, it's not an emergency.

Cars Line Up For Covid Testing In Milwaukee, As Cases Spike In The State
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The Wisconsin Hospital Association points out that there are plenty of other sources available in the community for patients who are looking for a COVID-19 test. Here are three pieces of advice that they offer as advised by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS):

  • Contact your doctor or physician to see if your primary care clinic provides testing
  • Seek testing from a free community testing site near you
  • Request a free at home collection kit from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services

To get more information about where to seek out a COVID-19 test in Wisconsin, visit the DHS website.  You can also call 211.

Mike Pence Holds Campaign Rally In Wisconsin
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What Do I Do If I Lose My COVID-19 Vaccination Card?

When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, you're handed a card that details the date, manufacturer variety, and location of your dose. If you're getting one of the two-dose vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna), you'll need that card to coordinate your second and final dose. But even with the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and even after getting the second shot, you'll need to keep that card in a safe place.

While nationwide vaccine mandates aren't a thing at the present time, there are a variety of times you might need that card even after completing the vaccine process. Many schools (primary, secondary, and higher education) are requiring the COVID-19 vaccine similar to other vaccinations. Additionally, some entertainment venues and mass transportation are requiring either proof of a negative COVID test or the vaccine card.

So what happens if you lose it? Relax. There are ways of obtaining a replacement - and they differ slightly whether you've lost it before getting both doses or after.

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