RIVER FALLS — Community "surge testing" sites for COVID-19 on University of Wisconsin campuses will be extended into the spring at some locations, including UW-River Falls, the UW System announced this week.

The sites offer free rapid-results antigen tests. The venture is a partnership with the UW System and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Locally the university is partnering with the city of River Falls.

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“We thank the federal government for their confidence in us, and we’re pleased that our university sites can continue to be used in the fight against this insidious disease,” UW System President Tommy Thompson said in a news release. “Where there’s a problem, I want the UW System here to help.”

The UW-River Falls testing site in the Falcon Center closed Jan. 22 after testing more than 8,500 area residents over 10 weeks. It will reopen Tuesday, Feb. 2 at:

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  • UW-River Falls: Hoffman Park Storm Shelter, 547 Hanson Dr., River Falls, WI 54022. Appointments are available on Tuesdays from 10 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. and Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

“We are pleased to partner with UW-River Falls to continue providing this important service to our residents,” River Falls City Administrator Scot Simpson. “The university has helped set the standard for virus mitigation in our community. We are grateful for their work and look forward to our continued partnership.”

The Abbott BinaxNOW antigen tests are supplied by the federal government, which is also providing the personnel and logistical support and confirmatory tests as necessary. Those seeking a rapid-results test — with results available in about 15 minutes — are asked to register at www.doineedacovid19test.com or call 800-635-8611.

Individuals do not have to be experiencing symptoms or be a close contact to get a test, nor do they need to live in the community where the testing site is located. Anyone who tests positive through the rapid-results test are urged to get a confirmatory PCR test.

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