Get tested today: no hassle, no fee
Free testing clinic at FDLTCC Tuesday through Thursday, Oct. 6-8
October 2, 2020
Been feeling a little under the weather? Worried you may have been exposed to the coronavirus on that recent trip?
Take care of that niggling worry with minimal fuss — at a three-day testing clinic through Thursday at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College. Testing is available to anyone who feels they need to be tested whether they have symptoms or not.
The clinic is also free — you don't even have to bring an insurance card — and simple: all it takes is about 10 seconds of a cotton swab being swished around inside each nostril. No pain or discomfort involved. Results will come in 48-72 hours. People who test positive will get a phone call; others will get an email or text message.
The first day of the clinic was Tuesday. As people drove up the FDLTCC driveway, they were directed to continue driving right to the back parking lot of the campus, where they were greeted by more people in masks and face shields handing out surgical masks to everyone, and directing those who had already registered inside the gym and others to register outside (all it takes is a name, phone number and email address).
It took this reporter about 10 minutes to get in and out of the gym with a completed test.
Public health educator Ali Mueller — also emergency preparedness coordinator for Carlton County Public Health and Human Services — said the clinic had about 150 people sign up for testing time slots in advance over the three days, and others who just came and registered there.
"We have the capacity to do up to 1,600 tests," she said. "We really would like to do that many tests to see how the virus is spreading in Carlton County. So from 12 to 6 p.m. (Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 7 and 8) come on down. It's a really easy process."
Increased access to testing and identifying positive cases as early as possible is a critical way to keep schools and the economy as open as possible. Positive cases staying hidden leads to more spread and more detrimental impact to our schools and economy.
The testing clinic is a joint project of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, FDLTCC, Carlton County Public Health and Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Health. The Minnesota National Guard is assisting, something they've been doing at "pop-up no-barrier testing sites" across the state, Mueller said.
"Many who contract COVID-19 may experience mild or even no symptoms, but some suffer life-threatening complications," Fond du Lac Human Services Public Health nurse Ashley Anderson said. "Everyone who contracts the virus is contagious. Getting tested helps you know if you have it so you can be informed and can protect those you are close to who might be most vulnerable to serious complications. This is a proven strategy for fighting the spread of a virus like COVID-19."
Pre-register for a test time online at: https://www.primarybio.com/r/carlton. Those who are unable to sign up online or need interpretation can call 1-855-612-0677 for assistance, or just show up.