MARSHALL (KMHL) – There will be community wide COVID-19 testing available in Marshall this week.

Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center, Southwest Health and Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Health are conducting the community testing Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.

“We are seeing significant community spread in our area,” said Dr. Steve Meister, Avera Medical Group and SWHHS Chief Medical Officer. “One of the most important ways to reduce the spread is to do testing and tracing for those who test positive, so we can identify  those who might unknowingly spread the virus.”

Meister says studies are showing that even those without symptoms can test positive and spread the virus to others.

Health officials are encouraging people that currently have symptoms of COVID-19 now to get tested – even if those symptoms are very mild. They are also asking those who have had symptoms in the last 4-to-10 days to get tested and also those who participated in local protests and demonstrations or other neighborhood events.

“As part of the plan to keep Lyon County residents safe and to continue to allow the economy to stay open, we must identify areas where the virus is spreading faster than in other areas of the state,” said Southwest Health and Human Services Public Health Director Carol Biren. “Widespread testing will help to test, trace and isolate those who have the virus and help slow its spread.”

The drive-up style testing is taking place at the Avera Carlson Street location all three days. To help organize the testing on Wednesday and Thursday officials are asking people to test during the following time blocks based on the first letter of their last name:

    • A-F: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    • G-L: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
    • M-R: 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
    • S-Z 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

On Friday:

    • A-L 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
    • M-Z 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Officials also are reminding people that insurance companies and governmental programs like Medicare and Medicaid have taken steps to ensure coverage and eliminate out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing.

For those without insurance, officials are also saying there will not be a bill at this time.