Part of the struggle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic has been a lack of easily-available testing, particularly in rural Minnesota communities. Having just gone through the testing process myself because I had several symptoms indicative of the disease, I am happy to report that testing is now easy to get.
The Family Medical Center in Little Falls, Minnesota, offers testing. If you look at the Minnesota Department of Health’s website for testing locations, it says St. Gabriel’s Hospital offers testing, but if you call the number, you will be transferred to the Family Medical Center.
If you want to get testing in St. Cloud, the St. Cloud Hospital’s COVID line will patch you through to CentraCare for scheduling. You may be put on hold due to high call volume, which is what happened to me, but at a certain point you will be asked if you would like a call back, so you’re not waiting forever. My call-back came relatively quickly and the scheduler walked me through the process, including procedures for quarantining while waiting for test results. I was scheduled the same day, within an hour-and-a-half of the call, as was my husband. Be sure to mention if you’ve got someone else in your household. Testing may be warranted for everyone and the CentraCare scheduler recommended that.
The testing location in St. Cloud was the CentraCare campus off of Highway 15, near Hennen’s Furniture. It is in a parking lot. A fish house serves as the facility the test-takers work out of. (Only in Minnesota, right?) My husband and I each had our throats swabbed after providing our driver’s licenses to confirm that we were to be tested. Nowhere in the process were we asked for insurance information, so it seems that the testing was free.
Test results typically take 4-7 days, though ours came back faster than that.
We were given a sheet of paper with quarantining instructions, including what we should do if we tested positive or negative. (This was all information the scheduler had shared with us, but it was nice to have it in writing, too.)
COVID Community Testing in Little Falls October 27, 28, 29
If you are wondering whether you have COVID, whether you are symptomatic or not, the Minnesota Department of Health has set up a free COVID testing site this week in Morrison County. It will be held at Bethel Lutheran Church in Little Falls, MN, on October 27, 28, and 29 from 12:00-6:00 p.m.
You don’t need an ID, but you do need to set up an appointment. Visit this MN Department of Health page for more information and to make an appointment.
Cases of COVID are soaring in Minnesota and around the United States, so be sure to wear a mask when you head out for your appointment. With community testing and vigilant mask-wearing, we can get greater control of this disease.