Community COVID-19 Testing Results

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2020
For more information, contact Stacy Neubeck, Avera Marshall Communications, at stacy.neubeck@avera.org or 507-537-9024.

Community COVID-19 Testing Results

MARSHALL, MINN. – (June 22, 2020) – A total of 1,019 COVID-19 tests were performed as part of a three-day community testing June 17-19 in Marshall, Minn. Of those, 32 tested positive for the virus for a 3% positivity rate.

Results after the first day of testing were closer to a 7% positivity rate.
“The sharp rise of cases in Lyon County over the last few weeks warranted this expanded community testing. This effort was important to further identify people in the area with COVID-19 – those with symptoms and those without – and ask them to isolate themselves to help prevent transmission in households and communities,” said Joni Scheftel, co-lead of community testing for COVID-19 for the Minnesota Department of Health. “The decrease in the rate of positive results over the three days of testing is likely due to symptomatic people and those with a known exposure being more likely to get tested on the first day and more likely to test positive.”

“Individuals whose tests came back positive have been notified. They have been asked to isolate themselves from others and they’ve been asked to alert people they have been in contact with, including their employer,” said Steve Meister, Chief Medical Officer, Avera Marshall.

Guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health says those who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home and self-isolate until all three of these things are true:
• You feel better. Your cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms are better.
• It has been 10 days since you first felt sick.
• You have had no fever for the last three days, without using medicine that lowers fevers.

People without symptoms who test positive should self-isolate for 10 days from when they were tested.

“We are incredibly grateful to all of the community partners who stepped up to play a role in carrying out a testing of this magnitude. It was a huge undertaking to organize this event quickly and plan for variables like heat, humidity, rain and lightning. All of the organizations and individuals involved came together to develop a well-organized, safe and efficient process for the good of our community,” said Mary Maertens, Regional President and CEO, Avera Marshall. “And I can’t say enough about the responsiveness and willingness of the volunteers who came forward to help. The spirit of generosity and community support is awe inspiring.”

Local mass community testing could be considered again in the future if warranted.

Testing continues to be offered in Marshall. Those who are interested should call 1-877-AT-AVERA.

In the meantime, officials urge area residents to continue following safety measures to control the spread of COVID-19.

“To protect our community, especially vulnerable populations who could be seriously impacted by the
virus, it’s important for all of us to continue following basic virus control practices. Stay home if you can,
social distance, wear a mask while out in public, wash your hands, get tested and stay home if you feel
sick,” Meister said.

Avera has developed a tool kit that provides guidance on how people can protect themselves from
COVID-19. It is available online at www.avera.org/app/files/public/77340/New-Normal-Patient-
Toolkit.pdf.

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