A free COVID-19 testing site in Madison will allow any resident who wants one to get a test without any appointments or registration, if they have symptoms or not.

Similar sites had opened under more restrictive terms last week in rural areas of the state. Monday, May 11, Gov. Tony Evers announced the testing sites in Madison and Milwaukee, supported by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and Wisconsin National Guard.

The two sites – at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison and the other at the UMOS Job Center in Milwaukee – are part of a series of efforts by the DHS and the Wisconsin National Guard to work with local health departments to create community testing sites, a state news release reads.

The sites are open to all residents from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and will provide free drive-thru or walk-up testing.

At the site, people are asked to stay in their vehicles for a check in or walk-up visits and to follow the signage. A worker in protective gear will take a tissue sample by swabbing inside of the nose.

Results take three to five days to come back. The test will only confirm the current presence of COVID-19, not whether the tested person had it in the past.

In the news release, Evers said increased testing and contact tracing are core elements of the “Badger Bounce Back” plan to slow the spread and box in COVID-19 and gradually reopen the state’s economy. He urged anyone needing a test to get one.

“Residents experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms or that have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 are encouraged to get tested, even if they feel well,” he said. “In order to turn the dial on Safer at Home and supercharge the Badger Bounce Back, we must have access to more testing, expand contact tracing, aggressively track the spread, continue practicing safe physical distancing, and wear protective masks in public spaces.”

Email Unified Newspaper Group reporter Scott De Laruelle at scott.delaruelle@wcinet.com.