Increased coronavirus case numbers and support from the North Dakota National Guard made a second mass testing event an easy call for the staff at Central Valley Health District.
"It's just good to have this available to the community," said Shannon Kaiser director of health promotion, Central Valley Health District. "Obviously we're all recognizing that the virus is increasing and the cases are increasing so it's just nice to have the access for anybody because it is worrisome."
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 for the second time this summer. At this time there are no subsequent testing events planned.
The county's second mass testing event was held Thursday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Stutsman County Fairgrounds. Jamestown Area Ambulance, The Jamestown Police Department and the Stutsman County Sheriff's Office also were on scene ready to assist if situations deemed necessary.
"We have the resource of the National Guard being able to help us for the next couple of weeks," said Robin Iszler, unit administrator for Central Valley Health District. "Without their help, it's hard to do an event of this size so to have enough people to help us out and their expertise is valuable."
Vehicles were directed to one of four lanes near the north entrance of the fairgrounds and people were given an oral swab test while remaining in the vehicle. Central Valley Health administered 603 oral swab tests in the four-hour testing window. There were 700 tests available for use.
As of July 23, there have been 5,493 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state of North Dakota. According to the North Dakota Department of Health, there have been 12,512 COVID-19 tests conducted and 85 positive cases in Stutsman County. The death toll in the state has risen to 97.
"People are worried and they want to know if they have it so we wanted those people who are asymptomatic to have the ability to get tested," Kaiser said.
Kaiser said the CVH staff also wanted to give those who could not make it to the June 18 testing event due to scheduling conflicts.
"The reason we decided to do an evening time this time compared to last time was that we did have some people reach out and saying that they were not able to come because it was during work hours," Kaiser said. "We wanted to make sure we were hitting everybody in the community ... and catch those people right after work."
Those who test positive for COVID-19 will be notified within 72 hours by a representative from the North Dakota Department of Health. Negative tests could take between five and seven days to get the results. The tests administered Thursday only determine if a person has the virus at the present time. The antibody test that indicates if a person has previously had COVID-19 was not administered.
"No news is good news," Kaiser said with a smile.