FargoDome Hosts Mass Drive-Thru Testing For COVID-19
Over 1,000 tests were conducted
FARGO, N.D. — Cars are lining up across the parking lot of the FargoDome, waiting their turn to pull into the canopies to get tested for COVID-19.
City officials, Fargo Cass Public Health, the North Dakota Health Department and the state National Guard all teamed up to help get testing done safely and efficiently.
The tests being given out are free to the public without any insurance needed.
The testing is broken up into 2 sections: an early shift for those who have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 and a later shift for symptomatic people and essential workers.
“We help with the collection information and the traffic flow and we bring a big force that helps control these large events in a safe manner,” Lt. Col. ND National Guard Patrick Flanagan said.
These troopers are geared in 8 lanes with M-95 masks, gloves, face shields and tieback suits to prevent any possible spread during testing.
Health officials say the testing is also being used as an indicator of negative cases to determine how effective social distancing is in the area.
“It’s going to go on for quite some time whether that is drive thru testing for positive or negatives or we switch over to the serology testing which is to see if you have actually had it and showing symptoms that you have had it,” Executive Officer, SouthWestern District Health Sherry Adams said.
Fargo mayor Tim Mahoney says it’s important to keep ahead of the virus as the F-M community has only about 20 hospital beds in use for COVID-19 with a capacity for up to 750 people.
He says the testing will help for measurement on plans to eventually reopen up parts of the state and city for business.
“We are trying to find the new normal, so we are wearing masks when we are out in the community and we probably will need to wash our hands more,” Mahoney said.
Mahoney says he is confident with how testing is going in the community and says people still need to make sure to continue to follow the proper guidelines to help flatten the curve.