The Stutsman County Fairgrounds was a popular destination late Thursday morning.
Central Valley Health District partnered with the North Dakota National Guard, Jamestown Regional Medical Center, North Dakota State Hospital and the American Red Cross to offer Stutsman County residents free COVID-19 testing. Jamestown Area Ambulance, The Jamestown Police Department and the Stutsman County Sheriff's Office also were on scene ready to assist if necessary.
"It's been going very well," said Shannon Kaiser, director of health promotion, Central Valley Health District, early Thursday afternoon. "We started and it was busy at first so we had ... we had all four (testing) lanes going. We have tested upwards of 400 people so far. This has been a need of the community. We've had a lot of people asking when community testing was coming."
Final numbers tallied 566 community members tested surpassing Kaiser's original goal of 500. There were 750 tests available for use.
"There was a while where we didn't have very many cases in our community," Kaiser said. "Then just in the last two weeks, we have had an increase in cases so people were worried that the coronavirus is here."
As of June 18, there have been 60 positive reported cases in Stutsman County -- the sixth most cases in the state. North Dakota has seen 3,193 positive cases of COVID-19 since March 11. The death toll in the state has risen to 75.
"We just thought it would be nice to offer because it's hard to get testing from a provider if you don't have symptoms so those people that are asymptomatic - it's nice to have the opportunity in the community to do a free testing," Kaiser said.
Vehicles were directed to one of four lanes near the north entrance of the Stutsman County Fairgrounds. People were given an oral swab test while remaining in the vehicle. At this time CVHD has not planned subsequent testing events. Kaiser said more mass testings could be planned based on need and the progression of case numbers.
Robin Iszler, unit administrator for Central Valley Health District, said the test administered is not the antibody test - showing if a person has previously had COVID-19. The tests administered Thursday only determine if a person has the virus at the present time.
"After today, if you are positive you will be notified in about 24 hours," Iszler said. "At that point, a representative from the North Dakota Department of Health will tell you what you need to do over the next 14 days to keep yourself and others safe.
"If you are negative, it could take longer to get your results - it could take up to 72 hours. If you are negative you are fine but if you are positive we would need you to isolate during that time for the 14 days."
Kaiser mentioned not isolating could have been what led to an uptick in positive cases the last couple of weeks.
"I would say people are getting a little bit more lax on their social distancing protocols," Kaiser said. "People are going out and about and maybe not following all of the guidelines. I guess people are kind of getting back to normal life because they are over it. The virus hasn't gone anywhere."