We drove to Madison last week to get tested for COVID-19 and I am very pleased to report that the whole experience went very smoothly and we all, thankfully, tested negative.
I write this to assure those of you who have not been tested yet and may have to be in the future, that you should not worry. The COVID nose test is not that uncomfortable. In fact, if you blink (and you will), you might miss the whole lickety-split thing.
I’d also like to send a shout out to the Alliant Energy Center testing crew for their impressive efficiency. We all received our results less than 24 hours after our test. (This quick turnaround is certainly not guaranteed. The expected wait time for results at a minimum is anywhere from three to seven days).
We went mid-morning, mid-week and I’m sure that helped speed things along. We also registered ahead of time and received a QR code we can use anytime we need to get tested and that made the process go more smoothly as well.
For those of you who are asymptomatic but think you have been exposed, or want to get tested because you are worried you may be exposing other people, especially those who are immune-compromised, here is how our experience at a drive-thru testing site went:
We drove into the parking lot and, due to our preregistration, were directed to drive to the right side of the arena lot. Then we were all asked to show our QR codes and confirm our name and birth dates. That worker filled out simple forms for us and placed them on our windshield, along with a number. We did not need proof of insurance, nor did we need to show an ID.
He then directed us to a very short line and we drove into the stadium. Workers came to our car windows, scanned our codes and asked us to confirm our names and birth dates. Then came the test. I closed my eyes, the worker stuck the probe in each nostril, my eyes watered a teeny, tiny bit and the whole thing was over.
We thanked them and drove on home. Easy peasy.
If you live in the Madison area but don’t have access to a car, the Alliant Energy Center also offers walk-up testing.
I know the protection a negative COVID test offers only lasts as long as your next exposure, but, given all the uncertainty surrounding this novel virus, it’s nice to know Wisconsin has an efficient, free, drive-thru testing site.
It would be great to have more.