MADISON, Wis. (WAOW) -- On Thursday, Gov. Tony Evers announced that COVID Connect, the Department of Health Services (DHS) COVID-19 test registration website is now available in Hmong and Spanish.
Since it's launch in July, more than 180,000 test registrations have been logged on COVID Connect. In order to increase access for all Wisconsinites, DHS will continue to translate the registration tool into more languages.
"COVID Connect has been critically important for streamlining the registration process – creating efficiencies in processing tests, getting results back to those tested, and tracing the contacts of individuals who test positive,” said Governor Tony Evers. “We want to continue making sure our resources are accessible to everyone who needs them as we continue responding to this pandemic.”
Data on COVID-19 shows disproportionate effects the Spanish and Hmong speaking populations in Wisconsin. According to the DHS, as of September 1, Hispanics and Latinos made up for 23% of the state's 76,584 confirmed cases, despite attributing to only 7% of the population. Asians and Pacific Islanders account for nearly 2,000 confirmed cases. The DHS says that there are systemic reasons that contribute to these higher rates of infection, including language barriers.
“If we’re going to be successful in boxing in this virus, we need to reduce any obstacles that may prevent any individual from accessing a test,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “Making the site available in multiple languages is a big part of that effort.”
People can register for COVID Connect at a physical testing site, or they can preregister.