RiverStone Health to close all facilities and drive-thru COVID-19 testing for Thanksgiving day

Posted at 4:50 PM, Nov 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-24 19:53:05-05

BILLINGS — To give staff a much-needed break, Riverstone Health will close all of its facilities for Thanksgiving day and reopen for normal business on Friday, according to a media release from RiverStone.

The temporary closure includes the free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing site located at 2173 Overland Ave. The test site will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Friday.

The RiverStone test site is regularly open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or until 200 people have been tested that day. The free tests are offered to people showing COVID-19 symptoms or those who've been identified as a close contact.

The tests offered at the RiverStone site are genetic or PCR tests that detect if the person has the specific genetic remnants of the virus in their system. The tests are sent to the state lab in Helena to be processed.

RiverStone staff said the test results can take as long as one week to come back, but are usually returned faster than that.

Last week, the RiverStone test site conducted 981 tests during its five days of operation. Staff said that was the highest number in one week that the site has seen since it was first opened.

Between the Overland site and its previous location at the Shrine Auditorium, the RiverStone team has conducted 11,244 COVID-19 tests.

Due to the temporary Thanksgiving closure, there will be a gap in reported new COVID-19 cases on the state's tracking map on Thursday. All new cases on the holiday will be reported after Thanksgiving.