MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers announced today that citizen soldiers staffing the Dane County National Guard COVID-19 testing sites have completed as many as 40 percent more tests per hour over two days last week thanks to the new COVID Connect testing registration system. The system was piloted by the state at the National Guard testing site at the Alliant Energy Center and will soon roll out to other National Guard testing sites in Wisconsin. Testing site staff collected 4,200 specimens over the course of the two-day trial.
“It took the hard work of many to develop and test COVID Connect before its roll out, so it’s great to see it get off to such a strong start,” said Gov. Evers. “COVID Connect allows us to not only test more people faster, but also to increase contact tracing efficiency.”
COVID Connect allows patients to register online for their test right from their phones, significantly shortening wait times at the testing site. Once a patient registers on COVID Connect, they receive two emails. The first email confirms their registration and provides a code that is used to access the registration information. The second email contains a link to the system for them to report suspected COVID-19 exposures, including people, events, or locations.
Each specimen collected at a National Guard site using COVID Connect receives a code that is linked to the patient’s record and used to track it through the process. Once the results are complete, the patient receives an email with a link to access their results. Results are not provided in the text of the email.
In addition to the 4,200 specimens collected over the two days, 3,800 results emails were also sent out over that timeframe (not all patients provide an email address). COVID Connect has created efficiencies and reduced opportunities for data errors at nearly every step of the process, as the previous process included paper registration and multiple points of data entry.
“Using COVID Connect results in faster testing, more timely results to patients, and more comprehensive information that contact tracers can use to track the spread of COVID-19 and encourage isolation,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “This is one more tool we can use to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.”
COVID Connect will continue to be used at the National Guard site at the Alliant Energy Center going forward and will roll out to other National Guard testing sites based on testing volume and readiness. For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, including community testing options, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. We encourage you to follow @DHSWI on Facebook, Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram for more information on COVID-19.