COVID-19: Public with symptoms, known exposure encouraged to get tested

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette
Redwood Falls Gazette

The number of cases of COVID-19 continues to steadily rise in Redwood County and the surrounding areas.

Carris Health - Redwood encourages anyone who has symptoms or has known exposure to someone with COVID-19 to get tested.

“As we try to minimize the spread of this virus – especially to vulnerable individuals – it’s important to know who has the virus and who else has been exposed,” explained Dr. Alan Olson, Carris Health - Redwood family physician. “When an individual has a positive test result, public health officials are then able to conduct contact tracing to pinpoint others who have potential exposure. If we were to see a larger spike in cases, public health officials are better able to work with the community to increase safety measures.” 

People with symptoms and those who need testing for other reasons should call the Carris Health - Redwood’s nurse line at (507) 637-1730.

While Carris Health is encouraging testing, increased demand for COVID-19 testing in recent weeks has led to a national shortage of supplies (reagents) needed to process tests.

Carris Health is addressing this shortage by making changes to allocate testing resources to individuals with the greatest needs.

As a result of these circumstances, the following groups of people are going to be prioritized for COVID-19 testing:

• Those with symptoms consistent with COVID-19

• Mission critical workers including health care workers, first responders, childcare workers, food production workers and other groups defined by the Minnesota Department of Health

• People with known exposure to someone who tested positive

• Individuals who need testing before a procedure or in coordination with health care

In general, people who do not have symptoms and no known exposure should not be tested for COVID-19 unless directed by a medical provider or public health representative.

Additionally, because of the national shortage of reagents, the time to receive test results has increased. Test results may take up to seven days.

Patients who sign up and use MyChart, which provides online access to your medical records, will receive their results sooner.