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Dickinson Hosts Drive-up Testing Site for the Community

COVID-19

In order to get where we want to go being a healthy society again, we have to know where stand.

The city of Dickinson began its two-day drive up testing site on Tuesday.

KX was there and got a sample of the process.

Cars were lined up as 60 members of the North Dakota National Guard in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Health kicked off the drive-up testing site.

“Initially, Stark County showed up in the– we were running third as far as counties in the state. And we aren’t the largest population in the state. So that was a little concerning for us,” Joseph Gaa, the city administrator for the City of Dickinson.

Over a two day period, health officials expect to test a thousand people, aiming for 500 each day.

But that’s just a portion as Sherry Adams says the state lab is receiving up to 2,000 tests a day.

“The big thing is we want to know where we’re at. Where we are with negatives, where we are with positives, where we are with positives and asymptomatic? Which will help us with this idea to open up more or how we can do the social distancing. Or what do we have to do for the next steps,” shared Adams, the Executive Officer, Southwestern Health Unit.

Four lanes were open to just emergency first responders and city employees on this first day as they are the ones who have continued to run business as usual and be in contact with the community.

“As we start opening things up, we still really don’t know about this virus, where it is, who’s been affected and it could be in the community. There are people who could’ve had it. So this just gives us a little peace of mind. And I think in the future as testing continues and maybe transitions over to antibody testing, knowing we have a plan here that works will be helpful,” shared Gaa.

Each person will be administered a test by a medical professional from the National Guard.

The tests are then taken to the state lab in Bismarck and processed.

“The test are going to take about 24-72 hours. And you will be notified either if you’re negative or if you’re positive,” shared Adams.

It’s simple as 1, 2, 3. They walk up to your vehicle, ask your name, introduce themselves and then they do the mouth swab.

The first day of testing brought in more than 530 people.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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