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Kaelyn Duesterbeck, a registered nurse at Mercyhealth, speaks with a person after taking a sample at a drive-through COVID-19 testing station at Mercyhealth North in Janesville. 

Larry was feeling fatigued for about a week and had a pain in his side.

The Janesville man suspected he might have COVID-19 and started looking for a place to get tested.

He called CVS Pharmacy in Beloit, which is offering free tests, but it was booked.

The Rock County Public Health Department suggested Wednesday he take advantage of free testing in Walworth County next week, he said.

“They said you’ve just got to drive a little bit, but you get it free there. Is that Rock County’s answer to COVID-19 is to tell you to go get a test at a different county?” he said.

Larry asked that his last name not be published because he doesn’t want to be identified as somebody who is looking for a COVID-19 test.

He didn’t get a test Wednesday but said he was starting to feel better.

“I mowed the lawn today,” he said.

Several public and private testing options are available in Rock, Walworth and Dane counties, but health officials advise patients to first consider their symptoms, insurance coverage and financial situation.

Those who get tested in a hospital or clinic setting should expect some kind of bill for a test, visit or both, depending on insurance coverage, said representatives of three of Rock County's four health care systems.

State health officials recommend testing for people who are asymptomatic but who believe they have been exposed to the virus or plan to be in social settings.

Hospital officials recommend those without symptoms seek public testing sites.

Such sites, manned by the National Guard, have appeared around the state in recent months. No public testing sites are open in Rock County, but two will open in Walworth County in coming weeks

Any Wisconsin resident ages 5 or older is eligible for testing at any public testing site across the state, according to Walworth County's health department.

There are no current plans to set up a public testing site in Rock County, said Molly Nolte, a city of Janesville spokeswoman.

In May, the National Guard collected more than 2,400 tests during a testing event in Beloit. 

A map with free public testing sites is available at the state Department of Health Services website and is updated regularly.

Here are details on where and how to get tested in Rock, Walworth and Dane counties.

Public testing

These free public testing sites will be available in Walworth County:

  • 10 a.m. to 6 pm. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 14-15, at Big Foot High School, 401 Devils Lane, Walworth.
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 28-29, at Lake Geneva Middle School, 600 N. Bloomfield Road, Lake Geneva.

Public testing remains available at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison:

  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
  • 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • Drive-through and walk-up testing are available. The site will remain open through at least Aug. 31.

CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy, 2149 Prairie Ave., Beloit, offers free drive-through testing for people who are symptomatic or who have been exposed. 

Those looking to be tested must sign up for an appointment and fill out a questionnaire online prior to being tested.

Walk-ins will not accepted because of limited supplies, according to the pharmacy's website.

The website says results might take five to seven days to be returned because of high demand.

Mercyhealth 

Mercyhealth officials urge those experiencing symptoms to call their physicians or clinics, spokeswoman Trish Reed said in an email to The Gazette.

Patients also can speak to a provider via a virtual visit or the health care system's COVID-19 nursing hotline at 833-648-0057.

Mercyhealth testing is not free. Results are typically returned in 24 to 48 hours, Reed said.

SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital-Janesville

People can receive a free virtual medical evaluation online at ssmhealth.com. They will be directed to the nearest SSM Health testing site if the provider deems it appropriate, spokeswoman Erica Mathis said in an email.

Patients should check with their insurance providers on potential visit-related costs, Mathis said.

Test results usually are returned within 72 hours, she said.

Edgerton Hospital and Health Services

Those experiencing symptoms can visit Edgerton Hospital's Emergency/Urgent Care facility to be evaluated.

Patients will be billed for an emergency/urgent care visit, hospital spokeswoman Sunny Bowditch told The Gazette.

People are encouraged to call their doctors before visiting. Tests can be administered for asymptomatic patients in the outpatient lab area and will be billed as a lab visit, Bowditch said.

The Doctor's Office

The Doctor's Office in Janesville and Darien offers testing for $130 per test, according to its website. 

The clinics do not accept insurance. Cash, check, credit or debit payment is collected at the time of the visit.

Patients are advised to call first to determine testing availability.

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