More than 800 get free COVID-19 test in Billings on Saturday

Posted at 4:16 PM, Jul 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-11 19:49:30-04

BILLINGS - A free COVID-19 testing event at MetraPark on Saturday morning resulted in more than 800 tests.

According to a press release form RiverStone Health, a total of 838 people were tested. There were 153 people tested who had symptoms of COVID-19, and 685 people tested who were asymptomatic.

The first test of the day was completed at 8:30 a.m. and the last test of the day was completed at 1:30 p.m. People began lining up for testing at 4:45 a.m., and by 8 a.m. more than 150 cars were in line. The testing event ran from 9 a.m. to noon, and everyone in line at noon was tested, the press release states.

At the previous testing event on June 20, 463 people were tested. At that time, only people who did not have symptoms could be tested. Three people tested positive from that event, and it was later learned that they had COVID-19 symptoms when they were tested.

Test results from the July 11 event, for those with symptoms, are expected to be back within a couple of days. Each symptomatic person was instructed to stay home and isolate themselves from others until test results are known. Additionally, household contacts of symptomatic individuals were instructed to quarantine.

People without symptoms should expect to learn of their test results in a week to two weeks. Nationwide, laboratory testing has slowed due to soaring demand. RiverStone Health will notify Yellowstone County residents of their results when available.

Joining the more than 50 RiverStone Health staff members at the testing event were 20 members of the Montana National Guard, and 3 staff from Avantara Billings.

RiverStone Health is exploring opportunities for ongoing COVID-19 testing. Once a plan is in place, information will be shared on the RiverStone Health website (, on its Facebook page, the public health information line (406.651.6415) and through the media.

RELATED: Billings residents line up for free COVID testing at MetraPark