Wisconsin National Guard end date approaching, need for testing continues

MADISON, Wis. — Another end date for federal funding is coming up, and this one could impact widely available coronavirus testing in Dane County.

The Wisconsin National Guard is mobilized to help test at Alliant Energy Center under federal orders that end on August 7.

Gov. Tony Evers sent a letter earlier this summer asking President Donald Trump to continue the mission, maybe even through the end of the year. So far that extension hasn’t come down, as much as Dane County Executive Joe Parisi would like.

“The bottom line with the testing site is right now the Guard is set to leave August 7,” Parisi said. “And we have requested that they stay because testing is vital to our efforts to keep the virus in check.”

If the federal government doesn’t extend the mission, Parisi said he hopes Evers does, but with that comes a question of millions in cost when the state budget will be tight.

News 3 Now asked the governor’s office what he might do, but no one returned the messages.

The testing site is open, and the public health department said it will stay open until at least Aug. 31. Testing is available for free Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.