Allina Health Encourages Symptomatic People to Get Tested for COVID-19
For the past few weeks, Minnesota health care systems have considerably ramped up testing for COVID-19. Allina Health, for example, offers curbside testing by appointment at six metro area locations and three regional locations.
“We are testing symptomatic folks, so people who have symptoms that are consistent with COVID can call and schedule an appointment to come and be scheduled,” said Sally Wahman, Allina Health’s vice president of primary care operations. “They stay right in their car and we’re able to do that test, and the results take typically three to five days to get back.”
As people await those results, they should stay home and isolate themselves from others.
People may be eligible for testing if they’ve developed one or more of the following symptoms, or those symptoms have worsened in the past 14 days:
- Shortness of Breath
- Unexplained muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste/smell
Anyone with the aforementioned symptoms should call their clinic to talk to their provider. Otherwise, they can call (612) 262-4145 to schedule a test.
“They’ll ask you some questions about what your symptoms are, where is the site that’s closest to where you live, and what are the hours that meet your needs, and we’ll get you scheduled to come in,” Wahman said. “When you come to the clinic, we’ll give you a phone number so you can call and let the care team know that you’re there and they’ll come out to the car and test you right there.”
On average, Wahman says Allina Health is testing about 600 people a day, but they have the ability to test more than 1,000 people a day.
“I think like the other systems, people are just not aware that they can get tested, or there are other reasons that are maybe keeping them from doing so,” Wahman said.
For a list of testing locations that are closest to you, the Minnesota Department of Health has set up a website that identifies testing spots all across the state, phone numbers to call and hours of operation.
“People out there with symptoms, I think it’s really important from a public health perspective to get tested,” Wahman said.