Wisc. (WQOW) - The University of Wisconsin System is partnering with the federal government to expand free COVID-19 testing to the community.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services asked the UW System to serve as the first surge testing sites for a new rapid-results COVID-19 test.
HHS is providing all 13 universities with 250,000 tests in total.
It's the first time a federal surge testing operation will use Abbott BinaxNOW, a COVID test that can provide results within 15 minutes.
UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson said they want to serve not only students, but the community at large.
"If we're effective in driving down the positivity rate in the state as a whole, then of course the federal government will roll it out, turn it out into other states," Thompson said. "So we're the model. We're the first and I'm very appreciative that the federal government has so much confidence in the university system."
Campuses will have medical support provided by eTrueNorth under contract with the federal government.
The UW-Stout community site has been open since Friday, and the UW-Eau Claire - Barron County site is currently open to students and staff. The UW-River Falls community testing site opened Tuesday near the David Smith Stadium. People can get tested there Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you'd like to know when and where you can get a free COVID-19 test, click/tap here.