The Missoula City County Health Department is offering expanded COVID 19 testing, specifically to asymptomatic individuals, according to Incident Commander Cindy Farr.

Farr first thanked Granite Pharmacy for providing vaccination clinics to local school personnel.

“Under the President's direction, he said that he wanted all of the Federal allocations that were going to the pharmacies to really be directed at educators and daycare providers,” said Farr.  “The folks at Granite Pharmacy were able to pick up that group for us, so that was great.”

Farr then addressed expanded COVID 19 testing, after the surge of COVID 19 infections has now fallen back.

“We now have the capacity to go back to offering asymptomatic testing to frontline workers,” she said. “Basically back in early fall, that’s August or September, we had a plan to do some asymptomatic targeted testing of certain groups, and then we got really busy with people developing symptoms and needing to get tested and found that we didn't have the capacity to continue the asymptomatic test.”

Farr provided a partial list of those who will be allowed to receive asymptomatic testing.

“Healthcare workers, school personnel, which includes teachers aides, janitors, anyone who's working in the school setting,” she said. “Plus first responders, frontline staff, such as grocery store employees or food service employees or people who work in gyms, public transit employees like school bus drivers and city bus drivers, personal care workers, which would include hairstylists, massage therapists, and tattoo artists.”

Farr said the number of new cases continues to drop, and officials are now looking past the 25 per 100,000 statistic.

“We're holding at that seven day average of about 12 cases per 100,000 people, and if you recall, we wanted to get it below 25,” she said. “Now our new goal is that we'd sure like to see if we could get it below 10, and then that would put us into the Yellow Zone for Harvard global health, for risk for COVID transmission.”

To make an appointment, residents should call 406-258-INFO (4636), and select option 2 to speak with a screener scheduler. In Missoula, testing is available Monday-Friday from 9 A.M. to 7 P.M., while Saturday and Sunday hours are 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. Additionally, MCCHD offers testing in Seeley Lake, Clinton, Lolo, and Frenchtown through the mobile testing clinic.

 

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