‘There’s just not a need to keep a facility this big’: Public Health prepares to end testing, vaccines at Alliant Energy Center

MADISON, Wis.– Lines for testing and vaccinations at Alliant Energy Center have dwindled in the last couple of weeks, showing Public Health Madison and Dane County it’s time to shift it’s focus.

Public Health was doing thousands of tests and vaccines every day at COVID-19’s peak. Now, they’re only doing hundreds and a site this big is no longer needed.

Testing and vaccine operations will end at Alliant Energy Center on June 26.

Public Health is shifting operations to its existing spaces, where they have the capability to give up to 700 vaccinations and 1,000 tests each week.

“We’ll do vaccinations five days a week and testing three days a week, just at our normal facilities instead of this mass center,” Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Ken Van Horn said.

Van Horn said the venue off of Rimrock Road was exactly what Dane County needed this last year.

“It’s like I drew out exactly what I would want a drive-thru testing vaccination site to look like. It was perfect and pretty expensive,” Van Horn said.

It costs about $10,000 a day to run the mass testing and vaccination site. To Public Health officials and local leaders, it’s money well spent, helping Dane County become one of the best vaccinated counties in the state.

“Although it’s being paid for with grant money, we want to be good stewards of taxpayer money and there’s just not a need to keep a facility this big with demand dropping,” Van Horn said.

Not only did the site help stop the spread of COVID in our community, but Van Horn said it also helped stop some of the anxiety that comes with a pandemic.

“We have peace of mind, I think, to the folks in Dane County,” Van Horn said. “They had access to both testing and vaccines whenever they wanted it. We scaled up and scaled down to meet demand, and I think it’s just been a really valuable asset for Dane County.”

After June 26, Public Health will be administering tests and vaccines at its South Park Street and East Washington Avenue locations.