After getting shut down by police because of traffic concerns, the Wauwatosa COVID-19 testing site moves to Hart Park

·2 min read

A COVID-19 testing site that was shut down because of traffic and pedestrian concerns has a new home in Wauwatosa.

A testing trailer that was originally set up at 68th Street and North Avenue caused a traffic backup of five blocks along busy North Avenue, according to Wauwatosa Police. Bus route and pedestrian concerns were also considered, as several businesses are located near that intersection.

Police decided to shut down the testing site on Dec. 28.

"Due to these concerns, the site was shut down; conversations were had with the staff onsite, and they were understanding of our concerns," said Wauwatosa police public information officer Abby Pavlik.

Staff pace back and forth between cars and in the trailer to assist those wanting a free COVID-19 rapid results test at the Hart Park testing site in Wauwatosa, Wis.
Staff pace back and forth between cars and in the trailer to assist those wanting a free COVID-19 rapid results test at the Hart Park testing site in Wauwatosa, Wis.

Wauwatosa health officer Laura Stephens said the testing site, managed by Grand Avenue Pharmacy, moved to Hart Park last week. But it's unlikely that the site will remain at that location.

"The city’s health department is working to find an alternate location that can properly and safely handle the influx of traffic," Stephens said.

This, as positive COVID-19 cases in Wauwatosa are the highest they've been at any point since the pandemic began.

The hours for the Hart Park testing site, 7300 Chestnut St., are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.

In the days surrounding the Christmas holiday, long lines could be seen at several COVID-19 testing sites across the Milwaukee area, as the omicron variant has continued its rapid spread.

The city of Milwaukee's three COVID-19 testing sites saw a 43% increase in people seeking tests between Dec. 20 and 27.

A woman grabs identification and other documentation from a person waiting in line at the COVID-19 testing site at Hart Park in Wauwatosa, Wis.
A woman grabs identification and other documentation from a person waiting in line at the COVID-19 testing site at Hart Park in Wauwatosa, Wis.

The seven-day average of daily cases reported by the state Department of Health Services increased again over the holiday weekend, to 5,392 — up more than 2,000 since the Christmas weekend, according to data released on Jan. 3.

In addition, nearly one in four people testing for COVID-19 over the past seven days tested positive, according to DHS, the highest rate ever.

In Wauwatosa, 673 positive COVID-19 cases were reported from Dec. 22-29, the most recent numbers the city has released.

You can find a list of community COVID-19 testing sites across Wisconsin at the DHS website, dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm.

A manager from Grand Avenue Pharmacy did not respond to a reporter's request for an interview for this story.

Evan Casey can be reached at 414-403-4391 or evan.casey@jrn.com. Follow him on Twitter @ecaseymedia.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wauwatosa COVID-19 testing site opens in Hart Park

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