The Minnesota Department of Health is partnering with local public health officials to give people a chance to get a COVID-19 test if they would like to get tested.

Over the next several weeks there will be testing opportunities in multiple communities around the state, including in Marshall Sept. 29 to Oct. 1.

Testing is free, available to anyone who feels they need to be tested whether they have symptoms or not and will not require insurance.

“The more we know, the more we can help reduce community spread,” said Bob Byrnes, Marshall mayor. “Testing plays a key role in our efforts to contain and mitigate the COVID-19 virus by identifying infected individuals to help prevent further person-to-person transmission.”

While many who contract COVID-19 may experience mild or even no symptoms, some will suffer life-threatening complications. All who contract the virus are contagious.

Getting a test helps people know if they have contracted COVID-19, so they are informed and can protect those they are close to who might be most vulnerable to serious complications. 

This is a proven strategy for fighting spread of a virus like COVID-19. The testing in Marshall will take place this Tuesday (Sept. 29), Wednesday (Sept. 30) and Thursday (Oct. 1) from 12-6 p.m. each day at the Red Baron Ice Arena.

In order to avoid long lines, those who wish to get tested are encouraged to pre-register for a time slot online at www.primarybio./r/marshall. Those who are unable to sign up online or who need interpretation can call 1-855-612-0677 for assistance.

Increased access to testing and identifying positive cases as early as possible is a critical way to keep schools and the economy as open as possible. Positive cases staying hidden leads to more spread and more detrimental impact to our schools and economy.

Switching from one model to another is a complicated calculation that can be very disruptive and requires significant planning.

School districts have to balance the important benefits of in-person learning to the mental and emotional health of their students with the very real risk of COVID-19 spread in a school environment.

Now that school has opened, broad community level data alone does not directly determine a potential change to the learning model. Instead, cases within the school community and what is happening in the schools themselves are the most important considerations.

Any decision to change the model is made by the school district in consultation with a local support team, including local public health as well as the Minnesota departments of health and education.

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