CDC official, UW interim president tour surge testing site, urge people to get tested


LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – In an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 across Wisconsin, the UW-System has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and eTrueNorth to administer rapid antigen testing at 13 locations.

One of them is at the Cartwright Center on UW-La Crosse’s campus where UW interim President Tommy Thompson, UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow, and Rear Admiral Nancy Knight of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a news conference on this new tool in the fight against COVID-19.

“Go get your test,” said RADM Knight. “Get it done today. Get it done this week. It’s free and available to you.”

While this rapid testing is available for everyone, it’s aimed at those not showing signs.

“The only way we break this spread is by getting those asymptomatic,” said Thompson. “Young people that usually don’t have any signs that they’re sick, but they’re still spewing out the virus.”

Regisitration can be completed online at Once you’ve selected a time slot, you check-in. The test takes 10 to 15 minutes and is administered via a light nasal swab.

Once you complete your test, you can isolate in a waiting room or wait in your car. Test results take no longer than 30 minutes to get back to you, and if you do test positive for COVID-19, you can take a PCR test at the same location.

“That confirmitory test will tell you whether or not you have it, and then, you are going to be isolated for the 14 days,” said Thompson.

“It was great to go in the waiting area, and we just asked people, “Are you a student? Are you from the community?” said Gow. “We had a real nice blend of people there, and this what this is all about.”

Testing is just one action that these leaders advocated for in Thursday’s news conference.

RADM Knight advised people to follow the three W’s: Wear your mask, wash your hands and watch your distance.

“It’s your behaviors, it’s your actions that are able to control the pandemic,” said RADM Knight.

500 antigen tests are available per day for people at the Cartwright Center. The USDHS provided 250,000 rapid result antigen tests for the UW System.

This testing is complementary to the ongoing testing already happening on the UW-La Crosse campus and in the community.

The site is open weekdays from 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. and Saturdays from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.

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