WHITEWATER — Members of the Wisconsin National Guard collected nearly 1,300 specimens during four days of free coronavirus testing in Whitewater last week.
From Wednesday through Saturday, Guard members dressed in full protection gear and facemasks administered swab tests to Jefferson and Walworth county residents age 5 and over who stopped at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Perkins Stadium parking lot, one of several statewide drive-up testing sites.
Gov. Tony Evers in April set a goal of testing 12,000 people a day for the virus, a target he said was needed before the state could safely reopen. However, on Monday, only about 3,600 tests were reported as being completed. That was about half of the 7,300 tests reported on Sunday and more than three times fewer than the 13,500 that were done on Friday.
Labs in Wisconsin performing tests for COVID-19 have the capacity to process about 15,000 a day, according to the state health department.
Evers and health officials have urged anyone who wants a test to get one. The Wisconsin National Guard testing sites have enabled all people who wish to be tested, even if they have no COVID-19 symptoms.
The Whitewater crew had been planning on doing about 3,000 tests over the course of four days, although the final number of tests was less than half of that.
Testing took place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. People tested were to receive their results within three to five days.
Since the National Guard started testing around the state a few weeks ago, it has collected more than 70,000 specimens.
There have been 25 National Guard teams continuing to operate across Wisconsin supporting local health departments and COVID-19 testing efforts, two of them that were assigned to Whitewater. They are comprised of more than 600 soldiers.
As of Monday, there were 107 positive cases of coronavirus in Jefferson County, with the rate of positive cases at 126.4 per 100,000 people tested. A total 3,149 people have tested negative. Three county residents have died from COVID-19.
Meanwhile, a Dodge County resident was among the 20 deaths recorded by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Saturday. Statewide, the death rate Monday was 595.
The Dodge County death marked the second in the county. Dodge County witnessed an increase of 35 new cases Saturday for a total of 215.
The county had 420 negative tests returned Saturday for a running total of 4,132. The first death reported in Dodge County was a resident who died out of state.
Statewide, the percentage of new positive COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin continued a downward trend on Monday, based on the latest figures reported by the state Department of Health Services.
Only 4 percent of all tests reported Monday were positive, the third-smallest total in the past two weeks. In total, 18,543 of the 293,545 people tested have been positive in Wisconsin and 595 have died.
That was up by three from Sunday. The 595 deaths account for 3 percent of all cases in Wisconsin, while 14 percent of those known to have contracted the virus needed to be hospitalized.
However, there was a sharp decline in the number of overall tests processed.
Ed Zagorski of Adams Publishing Group and the Associated Press contributed to this story.