Antigen testing

Free testing for COVID-19 is available to anyone in the La Crosse area at Cartwright Center on the UW-La Crosse campus. The University of Wisconsin System, in partnership with the federal government, is offering this testing option to help catch asymptomatic spreaders of COVID-19, and to help people make informed decisions regarding health and safety. 

The BinaxNOW Testing Program will offer tests to anyone age five or older — even those with no symptoms. Registration is required. The initial BinaxNOW antigen test provides a result within 15 minutes. Some participants are advised to take a confirmatory PCR test. 

The testing site at UW-La Crosse reopened to the community Feb. 1.

For more information, visit:

FAQ Register Parking

Last modified: 04/29/2021 updated

Get personalized testing information.

I am a ...

Where is the Antigen testing site located?

The BinaxNOW antigen testing site at UW-La Crosse is located in Cartwright Center. Please refer to the map below for door entrances, floor designations and parking areas.

COVID testing quick guide

What is a PCR test versus and antigen test?

  • PCR test:
    • Usually a swab from a person's nose or throat.
    • The test looks for the genetic material (RNA) of the coronavirus.
  • Antigen test:
    • Usually a swab from a person’s nose or throat.
    • The test looks for proteins that are on the surface of the virus.

When should I get a PCR test?

  • If you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • If you have had a negative antigen test but are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19
  • If you have had a positive antigen test but are not experiencing any symptoms

Why would I need a PCR test if I’ve already had an antigen test?

  • PCR tests are more sensitive than antigen tests and can detect smaller amounts of virus in the body, so may be better able to detect COVID illness when someone is earlier in their illness.
  • Detecting illness early ensures the infected individual can start isolating right away, and reduces the chance they can spread the illness to others.
  • If you have a negative antigen test but are experiencing symptoms, it may be that the amount of virus in your body is too low for the antigen test to detect it. A PCR test helps confirm the antigen test results.
  • If you have a positive antigen result but are not experiencing symptoms, the PCR test helps confirm the antigen test results.

Where can I get a confirmation test if recommended after my antigen test?

  • The Cartwright testing site, 2nd floor, M-F 8:30-4:30 IF:
    • Within 48 hours
    • You will need your test voucher from your antigen test
  • The UWL Student Health Center has testing appointments Monday – Friday (students only)
    • For those with symptoms or close contacts whose exposure was at least 5-7 days ago. 
    • Please do not walk in for testing but call ahead (608) 785-8558 to make an appointment
  • Off Campus COVID Testing (all PCR):