COVID-19 Testing Update from WI DHS

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REMINDER: Deadline to Apply for COVID-19 Testing Funds is Dec. 15 

The deadline to apply for the COVID-19 Community Testing Support Program is 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15. This program provides payments to Wisconsin organizations that conduct community-based or outbreak-based COVID-19 testing. 

Public health departments, health care providers, and other organizations under the authority and oversight of a physician are eligible to receive $20 per person tested. 

DHS is reopening the program to reach more communities that haven’t had long-term access to COVID testing, particularly in rural or underserved areas. Anyone that fits this description should apply. This program is a turnkey COVID testing solution and provides everything you need to do testing, including reimbursement for staffing costs, free testing supplies, and free courier services 

More than 75 organizations have successfully signed up and are either already testing or going to start soon. Of those, 18 are local and tribal health departments. For more information and to download an application for the program, visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/tpp.htm  

Considerations for Confirmatory Testing of COVID-19 Point-of-Care Tests 

The Department of Health Services (DHS) has issued DPH Numbered Memo BCD 2021-10 on considerations for confirmatory testing of COVID-19 point-of-care tests. This memo includes information for health department personnel and health care providers on revisions to DHS guidance for point-of-care testing originally published on Sept 24, 2020, as HAN #17. Please distribute this memo widely. All of our memos can be found on the DPH Communicable Diseases Memos webpage

Please Update Your Holiday Testing Hours 

Maintaining an up-to-date COVID-19 Community Testing Map is critical in helping Wisconsinites locate the nearest community testing location -- this includes your current hours. If you have altered your hours, or have just opened a site, please complete this survey. After being screened for approval, the Community Testing Map will be updated within 24 to 48 hours. If you have questions or concerns email: DHSCOVIDMAP@dhs.wisconsin.gov

Order Supplies Early to plan ahead for end-of-year 

It is a best practice to maintain a two-week supply of tests to prepare for potential surges in testing needs. Please check your inventory and, if you need supplies, you can order from the State of Wisconsin COVID-19 Testing Supplies . 

Recent Articles Related to COVID-19 Testing

In Wisconsin and across the U.S.

Testing Supplies Available from State

The State of Wisconsin has testing supplies available to entities willing to provide community testing (e.g. LTHDs, EMS/fire, pharmacies) and for those who serve targeted populations (e.g. shelters, licensed child care centers, camps, jails and schools).

A complete listing of existing community testing sites in Wisconsin can be found here.

Walgreens and CVS continue to provide free testing services through Federal Program for age 3 and up. There should NOT be any charge to the patient.

If a Local Tribal Health Department is able/interested in providing COVID-19 testing, the state is able to provide testing supplies, courier service to the lab and the lab resulting. In addition, the state provides testing reimbursement for those LTHDs who participate in the Community Testing Support Program.

If you are considering offering COVID-19 testing in your jurisdiction, here are some questions to consider:

  • To start up a community testing site at your health department, please place an order for supplies here: DHS Testing Supply Ordering Website

  • You will need to decide if you plan to use Dr. Westergaard’s standing order (most sites choose this option) or if you will be using another provider’s order. If you opt to go with another ordering provider, we would need to know the ordering provider’s name and NPI number and would want a copy of that order.

  • Once you have established location, operation days and hours, let us know so your location can be added to the DHS Community Testing Map.

Testing Support Websites

DHS provides free COVID-19 testing supplies for a variety of entities throughout Wisconsin. Currently, the following entities may order free COVID-19 testing supplies from DHS:

Key Testing Resources