This partnership between the South Milwaukee and St. Francis, Oak Creek and Cudahy Health Departments, and the Wisconsin National Guard may literally save lives. And I can’t thank our local teams enough for leading the way in making this a reality — from the South Milwaukee Engineering and Street teams working on traffic flow to our city attorney for hammering out a lease to our health workers for ensuring this operates smoothly.
A special thanks also goes to Reich Brothers, owners of the former Bucyrus campus, for working with us on a short-term lease for their facility.
Learn more about the testing center here.
With this stood up, the challenge now comes in sustaining it. COVID-19 is not going away. The pandemic is deepening as we head into winter, and CARES Act funding being used to fund this facility — as well as contract tracers and additional health department personnel — “expires” at the end of 2020. Unless that date is extended, or new money is allocated, it is hard to see how local governments can continue providing services like this.
I advocated for that last week, and will continue to. I ask you to do the same. Without a coordinated federal or state approach to a pandemic that demands one, fighting COVID-19 has increasingly been left to local governments to manage. We need allies in that fight.