By Shereen Siewert

Free drive-through COVID-19 testing is planned for next week in Wausau, a partnership between the Marathon County and Lincoln County Health Departments.

The Wisconsin National Guard will provide nasal swab testing from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 19 at Northcentral Technical College, 1000 W. Campus Dr., Wausau.

No appointment is necessary.

Anyone age 5 and older with any current symptom is eligible for testing, according to a Health Department news release. Anyone who is tested will be asked to quarantine themselves until results are returned, something those seeking tests should be aware of before attending the event.

Symptoms include fever, cough, loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, chills, and/or muscle aches.

“We feel that by expanding testing, we will be better able to track and manage the spread of disease,” said Joan Theurer, Marathon County Health Officer.

People who request testing should be prepared to provide a current address, county of residence, and phone number when they arrive for testing. First responders, corrections officers, and other law enforcement are also welcome to be tested. 

Testing will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. Attendees may experience wait times.

Vehicles will form a line while waiting for testing, and all attendees will need to stay in or on their vehicle at all times. No restroom facilities will be available onsite; please plan accordingly. 

Members of the National Guard performing testing will be in unform and in full PPE gear during the event.

Health officials say the event aims to provide mass testing while giving public health better insight into how widespread COVID-19 is in the community.

Following testing, people should return straight home and follow the instructions given at the testing site, which include self-quarantine until the test results are returned. Test results will be provided via phone by the National Guard or your local health department in a timely manner.