Third round of drive thru mass testing takes place in Grand Forks

475 tests were collected at the event

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Following Cass County, Grand Forks County has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in North Dakota.

Through this third round of drive-up mass testing, Grand Forks is aiming to identify more people carrying the virus before they can spread it to others.

The county is sitting at 304 cases, with many of them attributed to the outbreak at LM Wind Power.

“In our previous two events, they were very much focused on and tied to that LM,” says City of Grand Forks Communications Specialist John Bernstrom. “So, that first testing, we expected a high volume of positive cases, and we got it.”

At today’s event, 500 tests were initially reserved for essential workers, first responders and close contacts of those who’ve tested positive.

The site was later opened up to everyone in the community.

“I think a lot of these people that are coming through here don’t have symptoms,” says Bernstrom. “The other ones that we’ve had are either if you’re showing symptoms and you want to get tested or you’ve had close contact — there was a reason to get a test.”

“We actually have medical providers in the International Guard and Army National Guard doing the swabbing. So, not only do they do this on the guard side, but they do this as a part of their full time careers,” says North Dakota National Guard Capt. Laura Schmidt.

What they’re swabbing for is called a “point in time” test.

Capt. Schmidt says, “This is basically to give us a snapshot of what demographics in local communities are hotspots for COVID-19.”

“When an individual gets a test here, we will get the results of whether they’re positive at this exact moment. Three days from now, they can take another test and test positive,” says Bernstrom.

That means that even those who’ve previously tested negative are encouraged to test again for the virus.

It’s also why Bernstrom says this won’t be the last mass testing event of its kind in Grand Forks.

475 tests were collected at the event.

Those who were tested should get results within one to three days.

Categories: Coronavirus-ND, Health, Local News, North Dakota News