Clinic facilities

PHMDC moves toward rapid antigen testing at South Madison clinic

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) — Dane County health officials will move away from lab-based PCR testing for some patients at one of its clinics and move to rapid testing.

Public Health Madison and Dane County announced the move Thursday, saying the new strategy would take place at its South Madison clinic.

It comes as the state Department of Health Services shifts community testing sites away from these PCR tests to an antigen testing model, which will help people get their results faster.

Colton Ritchie, director of COVID testing, explained the process for what the new tests will be.

“You can still access free COVID tests at our clinic, but if you don’t have symptoms, you will only receive a free rapid test,” Ritchie said. “If you have symptoms, expect to receive two swabs at the appointment. Then, if the rapid test is negative, we will send the confirmation PCR swab to the lab for testing.

The PHMDC noted that rapid tests are currently approved for anyone aged 2 and over. PCR tests are approved for people over 1 year old.

Those wishing to make an appointment at the clinic can make one online.

Rapid home tests are also available for purchase in stores, pharmacies and online. The PHMDC also added that Insurance companies, Medical help (BadgerCare), and Health Insurance are required to reimburse up to eight tests per month, per member.