• Ascension Medical Group launching drive-through COVID-19 testing in central and northern Wisconsin

    March 25, 2020 3 p.m.
    MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Weaver, Public Relations Manager
    tom.weaver@ascension.org                 715.573.8465-Mobile
    Ascension Medical Group launching drive-through COVID-19 testing in central and northern Wisconsin
    Patients must be pre-screened by an Ascension Wisconsin provider before visiting testing site

    MEDIA NOTE: As we strive to limit the spread of COVID-19, our federal, state and local governments have urged everyone to practice “social distancing.” Given this, and to protect patient privacy, we ask that members of the media not be on site at these drive-through locations. Photos of the drive through locations will be provided.

    (Wausau, WI) – Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin is launching its next wave of drive-through testing locations for COVID-19.

    Starting Thursday, March 26, drive-through testing sites will be available in Plover, Rhinelander and Crandon. Additional sites are currently in development. 

    Individuals who wish to be tested at drive-through locations must first be pre-screened by an Ascension Medical Group provider by appointment, phone, or virtually using Ascension Online Care. 

    Those interested in this option for testing should contact their physician office. 

    This screening involves a series of questions about symptoms, travel history and any potential contact with COVID-19 patients. Patients who meet the criteria, which is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, will schedule an appointment for drive-through testing at the appropriate site.

    The initial drive-through testing sites going into operation in central and northern Wisconsin  are:

    • Ascension St. Michael’s - Plover, 2401 Plover Road, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.,  participants who have been screened and scheduled for drive-through testing should use entrance B in Plover.
    • Ascension St. Mary’s - Kabel Avenue, Rhinelander, 1044 Kabel Avenue. 8 a.m. -2 p. M. 
    • Ascension St. Mary’s - Crandon, 400 West Glen Street, Crandon.  Hours: 9 a.m. - Noon 
    All of these drive-through testing locations will be in operation Monday - Friday. 

    At the testing site, patients will remain in their vehicle at all times. An Ascension associate will look up the patient’s information in the electronic health record to confirm that they have been screened and require testing. Insurance information will be collected for follow-up purposes, if it’s not already entered into the electronic health record. An Ascension associate will confirm that the patient has an established Ascension provider. There is no upfront charge for the testing. 

    A throat culture and nasal swab samples will be collected and sent to a state-approved laboratory for analysis. Patients will be provided this information at the time of testing. The specimens collected at Ascension Wisconsin's mobile testing sites are currently being sent to Quest and LabCorp. In-house labs at Ascension Wisconsin facilities are in development. This additional testing capacity will allow COVID-19 testing for a wider group of patients.Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin will contact patients with results and positive results will be alerted to the Wisconsin Department of Health.

    “We continue to collaborate closely with local and state health officials to ensure that community members experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested for the virus, while limiting exposure to keep the health and safety of our patients, associates and visitors a top priority,” said Dr. Stewart Watson, Clinical Vice President of Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin’s North Region. 

    According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days after being exposed to the virus. Symptoms seen with the infection with COVID-19 are not specific, with cold-like symptoms in mild cases. Symptoms could include a fever, along with cough and  shortness of breath. If someone is elderly or has other medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes or cancer, they may get sicker from the virus and develop pneumonia or other lung problems. For more information on COVID-19, please visit cdc.gov

    There also is an Ascension COVID19 Hotline set up for those who have questions about COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms, or those who want to receive a text message to schedule an Ascension Online Care appointment with a provider. The toll-free number for Wisconsin is 1-833-981-0711.

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    About Ascension Wisconsin
    In Wisconsin, Ascension operates 24 hospital campuses, more than 100 related healthcare facilities and employs more than 1,300 primary and specialty care clinicians from Racine to Eagle River. Serving Wisconsin since 1848, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., operating 2,600 sites of care – including 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.ascension.org.