01STOCK_CORONAVIRUS03

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is shipping its improved SARS-CoV-2 test kit (pictured) to U.S. state and local public health laboratories, Department of Defense laboratories and select international laboratories.

The Wisconsin National Guard will help Walworth County officials with two more free COVID-19 testing events—where symptoms are not required—in coming weeks in Walworth and Lake Geneva.

The county’s health department announced the events Tuesday, one day after it released new phased guidance for the community to handle safety measures during the coronavirus pandemic.

The first community testing event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 14-15, at Big Foot High School, 401 Devils Lane, Walworth.

The second event runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 28-29, at Lake Geneva Middle School, 600 N. Bloomfield Road, Lake Geneva.

Appointments are not needed for testing, the county’s health department said in a news release Tuesday. Similar events were offered in Whitewater and Elkhorn.

“Many people with COVID-19 symptoms have experienced challenges getting tested. We also know that not everyone that contracts this disease shows symptoms,” Elizabeth Aldred, Walworth County Health and Human Services director, said in the release. “The goal of this clinic is to provide easy access to testing for anyone in the community.”

Walworth County on Tuesday reported its latest COVID-19 figures, showing 709 confirmed cases and 18 total deaths. One patient is currently hospitalized, while 56 are isolating at their primary homes.

Some 634 patients have recovered.

County health officials on Monday released phased guidance “to help incrementally guide our community towards a new normal,” according to that news release.

Health officials said on the county’s COVID-19 web page that as of July 2, the county has met other key metrics to advance beyond its second phase but has not yet achieved both elements of one of the measures.

Those are “a downward trend of the percentage of total tests that are positive and below an average of 5% of total tests are positive.”

The guidance, which is available online, has recommendations for businesses and organizations.

“Every setting is unique and calls for different strategies to protect customers, clients and staff,” Aldred said in that release. “We anticipate that our business and community leaders will follow these guidelines and implement strategies to best protect our community.”

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