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Evers Announces Free COVID-19 Testing Access For All Wisconsin Tribal Members


All tribal members in Wisconsin will have access to free COVID-19 testing under a new plan put into place by Gov. Tony Evers.

It’s a response to higher-than-average infection and death rates in Wisconsin’s minority communities.

Despite the relative isolation of many tribal communities, Evers said the state is working hard to give access to testing to all tribal members.

“I meet regularly with the leaders – every week, actually – leaders of the tribal nations of Wisconsin,” Evers said. “At the end of the day, we will continue to serve all of the tribal members, all the tribes in the state of Wisconsin.”

In the last week, the Wisconsin National Guard has assisted with COVID-19 testing serving the Bad River and St. Croix bands of Ojibwe.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Sec.-designee Andrea Palm said the state is also giving tribes other options for providing testing.

“They have the option to order testing supplies through the website. Those kits, those supplies can be sent directly to the tribe to be used in their own tribal health clinics and then returned,” said Palm.

Many Wisconsin tribal communities, like the Lac du Flambeau, have closed or severely restricted access to tribal lands and facilities.

The universal free testing program also extends to African-Americans and Latinos in Wisconsin.

Ben worked as the Special Topics Correspondent at WXPR from September 2019 until November 2021. He now contributes occasionally to WXPR. During his full-time employment, his main focus was reporting on environment and natural resources issues in northern Wisconsin and Michigan's Upper Peninsula as part of The Stream, a weekly series.
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