Change of plans: COVID-19 testing to continue at Alliant Energy Center

MADISON, Wis. — Dane County residents looking for a COVID-19 test will still be able to get one at the Alliant Energy Center despite an earlier announcement that the testing site would be shuttered, Public Health Madison and Dane County announced Monday.

Accelerated Clinical Labs, PHMDC’s testing partner, will continue operations within the county. The group will set up a new clinic in the east lobby of the Coliseum.

The move comes six days after PHMDC announced testing and vaccine clinics would be ending at the center on April 3.

While the need is small as COVID-19 cases fall, there remains a need for testing, and county officials said it’s better to be safe than sorry. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said the Alliant Energy Center will dial back its COVID-related operations as things return to normal.

“We’re going to be no longer doing vaccinations there after a couple more weeks, but we will still be offering — for the near future, at least the next couple of months — testing there,” he said. “It’ll be a little reduced from what it is now, but we want to make sure that that testing capacity remains.”

UW Health’s chief quality officer Dr. Jeff Pothof agrees with the decision, saying other variants could always appear in the area.

“It’s true that our cases are low right now but in the back of our minds we are thinking about that BA.2 subvariant,” he said.

In the meantime, while case counts are far below their peak earlier this year, Pothof said people should still remain mindful of the virus.

“(The low number of cases) feels good, but it doesn’t mean that we throw caution to the wind and don’t do things that we need to do to continue to feel good the next several months,” he said.

RELATED: COVID testing and vaccine clinics at Alliant Energy Center to close April 3

The new clinic will open on April 3, and remain open until June. Appointments and walk-ins are welcome. It will stay open every day of the week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.