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Madison County health department offers free community-wide testing Friday
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Madison County health department offers free community-wide testing Friday

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Madison County health officials are offering free community-wide testing for individuals Friday, July 10.

The drive-through surveillance testing will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Madison County Public Health Department located at 7 Placer Loop in Virginia City. The Montana National Guard will be assisting with traffic management.

Anyone showing no symptoms is welcome to take the test. No appointment is necessary, and people are asked to stay in their vehicles. People will self-administer the nasal swabs, if possible, and medical personnel will be available for assistance.

The county will have 1,000 tests available, and the testing opportunity is made possible with the help of the Madison County Disaster Emergency Services, State Department of Public Health and Human Services, State DES, Montana National Guard, Madison Valley Medical Center and the Town of Virginia City.

The turnaround for test results will take 5-10 days. The county will only notify those who have tested positive, said Bonnie O’Neill, chief administrative officer of Madison County. Those who test negative will not be contacted about their test results, she said.

As of July 8, Madison County public health officials reported five new cases since July 4, bringing the county’s total cases to 20, including one death earlier in the season.

The individuals who tested positive for the coronavirus include three women and two men ranging between 20 and 69 years old. Four individuals were linked to recent COVID-19 cases, while one had recently traveled out of state. All cases are in isolation.

In addition, there are three positive COVID-19 non-residents in isolation within Madison County that have been following strict isolation orders.Non-residents are not counted on the state’s demographic map.

The county health department is contacting all individuals who have been in close contact with the new cases and will be required to quarantine at home for the appropriate period.

Since July 2, approximately 56 Madison County residents have been placed on quarantine. An additional 25 non-residents who have been identified as close contact have also been placed on quarantine.

In order to protect the privacy of the individuals who tested positive the county public health department does not disclose the names nor locations of where the people reside, citing Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) requirements.

Melissa Brummell, Madison County public health director, stressed the need for individuals to continue to stay alert for symptoms such as fever, cough, trouble breathing, and seek emergency medical treatment if you or a family member show any symptoms of COVID-19.

The Madison County Sanitarian Department is available to answer any questions relating to business licenses and sanitation at 406-843-4275.

The county public health department is available during normal business hours to answer questions about COVID-19 by phone at 406-843-4295.

For additional information concerning COVID-19, visit the Public Health website: https://madisoncountymt.gov/230/Public-Health.

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Kristine de Leon is a reporter for the Montana Standard, her focus in on natural resource stories.

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