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School-Based Testing Offers Additional Options for Families

As COVID-19 continues to circulate in our community, fueled by the prevalence of the more infectious Delta variant, Public Health Madison & Dane County wants to remind residents of the vast options for testing available in the community.

“The demand for testing is high right now, as people continue to experience COVID-like symptoms, many employers are requiring testing for their employees, and testing is required for traveling and attending events. I want to assure the residents of Dane County, we have the testing capacity to meet those needs,” said Ken Van Horn, testing director, Public Health Madison & Dane County.

Testing is available through many local pharmacies across Dane County, healthcare providers, community test sites, and the Public Health clinic at 2230 S. Park St. in Madison. To prevent long and unpredictable waits, most testing sites now have an appointment system so you can reserve a time for your test. COVID-19 testing continues to be free and does not require insurance.

“Across all test sites, the tests available are PCR tests, which are typically seeing results within 24-72 hours,” said Van Horn. “These are the type of tests often required for traveling, events, or to be cleared to return to work or school, so if you need a test for these reasons you simply have to plan ahead.”

Testing is also available to all Wisconsin schools through the Department of Health Services (DHS) K-12 School Testing program. Through the voluntary program, schools work with their assigned vendor to establish their testing needs, who provide the testing supplies, diagnostics and swabbing services at no cost to the school district or the families.

“School-based testing ensures equitable access to testing services, offering convenient options on a schedule that works for kids, teachers, staff and their families without requiring appointments or transportation,” said Van Horn.

Most schools in Dane County have enrolled in this program. Parents are encouraged to check their child’s school district website for specific information including hours and locations.

“The bottom line is, if you want a test, you should be able to get a test. Capacity in Dane County and throughout the state has increased tremendously since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Van Horn. “We will continue to monitor the testing capacity of our partners to ensure that doesn’t change.”

For more information about the COVID-19 in Dane County and the latest public health order, visit You can also follow @publichealthmdc on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Health & Safety