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Lake region District Health Unit offers free COVID-19 tests

By Sue Sitter - | Sep 5, 2020

Sue Sitter/PCT The Lake Region District Health Unit office at the Pierce County Courthouse will offer free by-appointment COVID-19 testing Thursdays between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. Those wishing to be tested must call 776-6783 to arrange for a test.

Lake Region District Health Unit’s Pierce County office now offers local testing for COVID-19 every Thursday between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. by appointment only.

Nurse Samantha Wentz of LRDU said people seeking tests should call her at 776-6783 for an appointment.

“There’s a little bit of paperwork to fill out, so that’s why I say ‘by appointment only,'” Wentz explained. Wentz said she asks the callers to give her their names and other information so she can be prepared to administer the tests.

“I like to have that done ahead of time, so by 8:30 to 9:30, I can just go to the parking lot at the courthouse, and I have everything ready,” she said. “I know their name and addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers.”

Wentz said people being tested must stay in their cars in the Pierce County Courthouse parking lot. “I’ll do a mouth swab and test them out in the parking lot,” she noted.

“The tests are free to anyone,” Wentz added. “They’re convenient for people considered a close contact to a positive COVID case, because it’s recommended seven to 10 days after being exposed to someone with coronavirus, that you are tested.”

Wentz recommended people who suspect they were exposed to a COVID-positive individual wait seven days from the date of possible exposure before being tested.

Test results usually come in “within three to five days,” Wentz said.

Wentz said people who are “in close contact to a person with coronavirus should already be quarantined at home. That’s recommended until the test results are given.”

“There are some college students who need test results to attend college,” Wentz added. “In those cases, they can come here also and get a test.”

“Sometimes, people traveling to certain areas may need a test,” Wentz noted. “I know if you’re going to Alaska, you need a test. So, maybe people for work or travel purposes may need testing.”

Wentz added, “Now that school has started, there may be children sent home as close contacts. That’s another reason why I decided to do this testing, so that there’s close contact testing available (in Rugby).”

“Also,” Wentz said, “the (Rugby Heart of America) Johnson Clinic does COVID testing five days a week, Monday through Friday. They just ask that you call ahead.”

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