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Missoula drive thru COVID-19 testing center up and running

Posted at 10:51 AM, Apr 08, 2020

MISSOULA — Missoula County health officials operated its first full round of drive-thru testing for COVID-19 on Tuesday at the fairgrounds. Right now, the site can take about 20 people per day, but officials hope to test more in the future.

People are tested by appointment-only, which is determined through a phone call with health professionals. Following the testing, patients are given a mask and sent home with instructions to remain isolated until results return.

Officials hope this drive-thru facility will help them get ahead of Missoula's peak.

“We just know that there could be a time when we are going to need to be able to test a lot of people so that we can get a better idea of how many people in our community actually have contracted the disease and we figured if we start while we are pretty early in this pandemic then we will be very prepared and have a lot of experience doing this, Missoula City-County Health Department Incident Commander Cindy Farr said.

She added that all the tests are sent to the state public health lab and those tests results come back in 24 to 48 hours.