Caterpillar – South Shore coronavirus testing site will stay open through March
| Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The South Shore COVID-19 testing site will stay open through March.
The Cudahy, Oak Creek and South Milwaukee/St. Francis health departments released the news Dec. 28. Ongoing operation of the site is the result of continued collaboration among the Wisconsin National Guard (WING), Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management and city of Milwaukee Health Department.
The site, at the former Bucyrus/Caterpillar location in South Milwaukee at 1625 10th Ave., was originally going to close in early December. However, the three health departments committed to supporting the site through December with support from the Wisconsin National Guard.
At that time, South Milwaukee Mayor Erik Brooks said on his blog that he is proud of the work the health departments are doing with the site. He said the effort should be coordinated at a federal or state level but has fallen to local health departments. Brooks said the goal is to get a handle on where the virus is to slow the spread and save lives.
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The site is open to anyone ages 5 and older, with or without symptoms. Normal hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. The site may close early due to resource availability. Appointments are not necessary; testing is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
The free drive-thru testing site began operation in October when coronavirus cases were spiking in the area. Since starting, lines have been long, stretching at times down Rawson Avenue between 15th Avenue and Highway 32. The site was so popular signs were posted to limit parking and allow cars to be in line along the side of the street so as not to impede traffic.
“After conducting over 10,000 tests since it opened in late October, the South Shore Testing Site has proven to be a vital resource to bridge testing gaps in the southeastern part of Milwaukee County,” a news release from the three health departments said.
Oak Creek City Attorney Melissa Karls said the former Bucyrus/Caterpillar site was chosen for the site because of the ease in offering a drive-thru experience — something that will be appreciated in colder months.
A memorandum of understanding among the three communities said it was talks between the South Shore communities and the Milwaukee County Unified Emergency Operations Center that determined the specimen collection and testing site was needed in the area.
The memorandum is in effect until it’s modified or terminated by any of the partner communities.