Gundersen has record-setting COVID testing day, will begin capping daily tests

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Gundersen Health System is capping services at its North Side testing site at 600 tests a weekday, and 300 tests a day on weekends and holidays. Gundersen announced the new protocol after its busiest day yet.

The drive-through service served nearly 700 patients in need of COVID-19 testing today. Mayo Clinic Health System maxed out their testing slots and opened more. And tests are booked into the new year at Walgreens stores throughout La Crosse.

At Gundersen’s drive-through location, cars were backed up beyond the parking lot into George Street.

“We’re just getting to the point that we — our staff can’t handle it anymore. It’s overwhelming at times,” said Jen Schliep, the lab manager of the North Side drive-up facility.

This busy day comes at a busy time of year. Something that Schliep did not expect.

“We thought at this point we’d be going, continuing our downspout. But it just goes up and up. It’s very surprising that that’s where we’re at right now,” Schliep said.

As cars continued to come through the drive through, Schliep assisted them in between questions.

“We’re at the busiest we’ve seen. Even last year when we were at our peak — we’re busier than that,” she said. “How’s that for me? Exhausting.”

Schliep advises people to test only if they had an exposure or are experiencing symptoms. If you’re experiencing symptoms or are unsure what to do, she suggests calling a nurse help line.

Gundersen’s nurse help line is available here.

Mayo Clinic’s nurse help line is available here.

Gundersen’s test site is capping the patients it is seeing each day, but you can get information on how to schedule your test on its website.

Mayo Clinic is offering testing at its 10th and Market location, and asks that patients call ahead at (608) 392-7400 before you go in.

More testing sites can be found on the Department of Health Services’ website.

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