The North Dakota National Guard and North Dakota Department of Emergency Services are supporting free mass screening events using rapid antigen tests this week at the Gateway Mall in Bismarck.
The screening events will take place from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 22-23, inside the Gateway Mall near the Galleria and Planet Fitness area (visitors can enter through any of the mall entrances). The event is free to the public and children can be screened if accompanied by a legal guardian.
The screenings, however, are for asymptomatic visitors only. If you are sick, DO NOT attend these events and isolate at home. Unless it is an emergency, ALWAYS call ahead before visiting your doctor.
By screening with rapid antigen tests, event attendees will be able to receive their test results within 15 minutes via text notification. The test also is less invasive than a PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) test in that it uses a nasal swab to collect a sample from the lower part of the nostril.
If a person tests positive, they should isolate at home immediately and a case investigator will be in touch with them within 24 hours. If the screening yields a negative result, individuals should continue to monitor for symptoms.
Interested individuals should fill out an online survey at testreg.nd.gov for faster registration.
For more information about rapid antigen tests and North Dakota’s screening strategies, visit https://www.health.nd.gov/rapid-antigen-screening
In addition to the two screening events, several local public health units across North Dakota continue to host free testing for community members. A list of testing events can be found at health.nd.gov/covidtesting. During these events, a PCR test is typically used. When using this type of test, it may take 24-72 hours to receive a positive test result and up to 72 hours to receive a negative test result.
North Dakotans should continue to follow #NDSmart guidelines to slow the spread of COVID-19, including staying home when sick, staying six feet apart, avoiding large gatherings, washing your hands often, avoiding touching your face, wearing a mask and continuing to clean frequently touched surfaces.
For more information on COVID-19, visit health.nd.gov/coronavirus.