DHS to Increase COVID-19 Testing Capacity, Relaunches Community Testing Program – Wisconsin Department of Health Services

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced today the relaunch of the Testing Pilot Program, now referred to as the Community Testing Support Program, to support entities across Wisconsin in offering local, convenient COVID-19 testing. This program will provide approved applicants with free testing supplies and courier services through contracted vendors, as well as reimbursement for specimen collection. 

“Easy access to COVID-19 testing in all communities is critical to protecting Wisconsin residents from COVID-19 exposure and disease,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Through this program, we will bring additional testing resources into communities that need them most and bolster existing testing efforts, ensuring people have the resources they need to make informed decisions and keep themselves and those around them safe from COVID-19.”  

Through the initial program, more than 750,000 tests have been conducted at over 70 locations. 

“People have confidence in and are more eager to access services in their local, trusted spaces, and this is true for COVID-19 testing as well,” said DHS Deputy Secretary Deb Standridge. “We are thankful for all of our partners across the state who have worked throughout this pandemic to ensure all Wisconsinites have access to COVID-19 testing services. We encourage all those eligible to apply for this program so that we can continue this important work.”

The following entities are eligible to apply for the Community Testing Support Program:

  • Local or tribal health departments
  • Health care providers licensed by the State of Wisconsin
  • Other trained specimen collection individuals or organizations under the authority and oversight of a physician or local or tribal health department

All entities that apply for the Community Testing Support Program are required to complete a program application and proof of partnership with a local or tribal health department. Interested applicants can find more information about program eligibility and steps to apply on the DHS Community Testing Support Program webpage. 

The Community Testing Support Program is funded through the ELC Enhancing Detection Expansion grant project, and the deadline to apply is December 15, 2021. 

No matter one’s vaccination status, all people who were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or who have COVID-19 symptoms should get tested. And, with the high-level of disease transmission in Wisconsin, DHS continues to urge everyone who is not vaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and for all people to add additional layers of protection, including masking up indoors, staying home when feeling sick, and avoiding large indoor gatherings.

To find a COVID-19 testing location in your community, visit the DHS COVID-19: Community Testing Sites webpage or call 211. To find a vaccine provider in your community, visit vaccines.gov, or call 211 or 877-947-2211. For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. You can also follow @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.