Missoula County seeing rise in COVID-19 testing requests

Missoula Mobile COVID Testing Site
Posted at 4:06 PM, Jan 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 18:08:15-05

MISSOULA — Montana health officials reported over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, pushing the state’s active case count to over 4,500.

Missoula County recorded 116 of those new cases bringing the total number of active cases to 632.

Additionally, the average daily new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days is now 60; the goal is 25.

We talked with Missoula City-County Health Department officials to learn more about the local COVID-19 situation.

Missoula County COVID-19 Lead Public Information Officer Hayley Devlin says despite the uptick, they have thousands of tests on-site.

"We anticipate we won't run out for quite a few months."

Devlin noted that has plenty of tests, people might still see a delay in getting an appointment.

"Phone lines are a bit long, during the highest point of the day folks are waiting about 15-20 minutes to speak to someone."

Some people have told MTN News it's taken them hours, though, so people might need to be patient.

Devlin says they are working toward options to make it easier.

"We are cross-training folks so we can have more people to take phone calls and by the end of the week we hope to launch some online bookings, which hopefully will lessen the amount of calls we're seeing."

Devlin says about 130 people per day can be tested at the county site which is located at 3665 West Broadway.

"And we have been maxing out. But that's no reason to worry, it just means instead of getting a same-day appointment you'll probably just have to get a next-day appointment," Devlin explained.

Missoula County residents who are in need of a COVID-19 text can call 406-258-INFO to make an appointment.