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Yellowstone County health agency expands COVID-19 testing

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Posted at 9:05 AM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-09 10:23:38-05

BILLINGS - RiverStone Health announced Friday it is expanding hours and services for free, drive-through testing for COVID-19.

Starting Monday, Jan. 11, free testing for COVID-19 will be available from 8:30 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. weekdays at the RiverStone Health drive-through testing site at 2173 Overland Ave., the agency said in a press release.

The site will test up to 210 people per day and offers both the Binax rapid antigen test with results in about 20 minutes and the PCR test, which requires lab processing that usually takes a few days.

Those waiting for results of their rapid antigen test will be directed to a designated parking area where RiverStone Health staff will notify them of their results as soon as they are available.

People should expect that they may be at the testing site for 1 ½ hours, depending on the length of the line for testing.

Adults and children age 5 and over can be tested at this site. Anyone may request a test, even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19 illness. Those who have symptoms and get a negative result on the rapid antigen test, will then be given the PCR test to confirm the negative result.

COVID-19 vaccine remains limited in Yellowstone County and only healthcare personnel, residents of long-term care and assisted living facilities and first responders are able to be vaccinated at this time. It could be months before there is ample supply to vaccinate everyone.

The health agency said it is important to continue to test so that people who have been exposed to COVID-19 will know whether they are infected and can isolate and take other precautions and care for themselves while avoiding spreading the virus.