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With local cases mounting, county announces coronavirus testing in area schools
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With local cases mounting, county announces coronavirus testing in area schools

Testers at their tents

Test site workers don protective gear May 27 to administer coronavirus tests at a free drive-through facility in Whitewater operated by the Walworth and Jefferson County health departments.

As the number of coronavirus cases surpasses 700 in Walworth County, county health officials have announced plans to offer public testing in two area schools.

Testing is scheduled July 14 and 15 at Big Foot High School in Walworth and July 28 and 29 at Lake Geneva Middle School in Lake Geneva.

The county Department of Health & Human Services today reported Walworth County has recorded 709 confirmed cases of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

The county has confirmed 200 new cases in the past two weeks.

Since the Wisconsin Supreme Court threw out the state's "Safer At Home" public health safeguards on May 13, the number of Walworth County people to test positive for the virus has nearly tripled — from 250 to 709.

Of the 709 cases, 634 people have recovered, 56 are quarantined at home, one is hospitalized and 18 have died.

In announcing the new testing efforts, Elizabeth Aldred, the county director of health and human services, said her agency is taking steps to make COVID-19 testing more accessible for people who have had difficulty getting tested previously.

"The goal of this clinic is to provide easy access to testing for anyone in the community,” Aldred said.

Previous test sites have operated in Whitewater and Elkhorn.

As announced today, testing will be available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 14 and 15 in the Big Foot High School parking lot, located at 401 Devils Lane, Walworth. Testing also will be available 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 28 and 29 at Lake Geneva Middle School, 600 N. Bloomfield Road, Lake Geneva.

The tests will be offered free to anyone, without appointment, regardless of whether they are showing coronavirus symptoms.

Wisconsin National Guard members will assist with performing the tests.

Carlo Nevicosi, deputy director of the county health department, said the two schools were chosen for new testing to reach parts of the county where testing has not occurred before.

“Our goal is to provide easy access to testing," Nevicosi said. "So, we wanted to target an area that had not yet been served.”

The Walworth Village Board voted July 6 to support the coronavirus testing effort at Big Foot High School, although village approval was not required.

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