Photo: DeAnne Holland, Avera Marshall

MARSHALL (KMHL) – Local health officials are urging people to come and get tested for COVID-19 during community wide testing that is being at the Avera Marshall Carlson street location.

According to early numbers from samples taken, of the first 212 that were tested, officials said 14 were positive.

Minnesota Department of Health co-lead of COVID-19 community testing Joni Scheftel says that shows the virus is actively spreading in the community.

“This is exactly why we organized this community testing event,” said Avera Marshall Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steven Meister. “We strongly urge the community to take advantage of the opportunity to be tested.”

Health officials say any area individuals who want to be tested are encouraged to come, even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19.

The type of sample collection that’s being performed is what health officials call the mid-turbinate swab, which goes about one inch into the nose. They say it causes much less discomfort than the nasopharyngeal swab used for other COVID-19 testing.

Testing continues today through 3 p.m. Anyone who wants to be tested is asked to enter from the Peterson Street entrance.