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Open community COVID-19 testing paused in Yellowstone County

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Posted at 10:06 AM, Jul 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-18 12:06:01-04

(Editor's note: RiverStone Health media release)

Because of a nationwide backlog at Quest Diagnostics, RiverStone Health is no longer able to continue open communitywide COVID-19 testing. Quest Diagnostics, a private lab, has informed the state of Montana that it is unable to fulfill its contract to analyze specimens from sentinel testing of people without symptoms.

Per guidance from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, RiverStone Health will continue to offer free testing, but only to people who are “close contacts” of someone who already tested positive or who have symptoms of COVID-19. This testing protocol will begin Monday, July 20 and will be in effect until further notice.

Both those with symptoms and those who are close contacts should stay home before and after testing.

A “close contact” is a person who has spent 15 minutes or longer within six feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 when that person was infectious. The close contact may become infected within 14 days after the exposure. Close contacts need to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days.

People with symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate themselves until they receive negative test results. If they test positive, they will receive further instructions from their healthcare provider and RiverStone Health.

Free, drive-through testing for close contacts and symptomatic people is available Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. and closes when the allotment of 175 tests per day has been reached. The RiverStone Health testing site is in the Shrine Auditorium parking lot, 1125 Broadwater Avenue.