People who wanted to get tested as to whether they had been exposed to someone with COVID-19 could get tested at the Crow Wing County Fairgrounds.
About 30 people turned out Thursday, July 2, and paid for the test to detect if a person had COVID-19 antibodies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state antibody tests check an individual’s blood by looking for antibodies, which may tell them if they had a past infection with the virus that causes COVID-19.
“I was brought in by a private person to do testing. She wanted to set up testing for the community, so she asked if we could set something up for everybody to come in either by appointment or just walk in,” said Ashley McGinnis of Total Compliance Solutions Inc.
The Hutchinson-based company also performs drug and alcohol testing, fingerprinting, physicals, hearing testing, vision testing, pulmonary function testing and more.
“It’s similar to a glucose test, we just need a drop of blood. The results appear within 10 minutes,” she of the testing that ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. “If anybody wanted to call us and set it up for a different time, they would have to contact our company and pick a day in the future.”
Total Compliance Solutions provides on-site medical services but has several fixed locations in places such as Glencoe, Arlington, Le Sueur, Hutchinson, Robbinsdale, Roseville, Buffalo and Henderson, but it was the company’s first time providing antibody testing at the fairgrounds.
“The gal that brought me here today contacted our company … advertised on her Facebook page. And we had Gary, here, call a couple of local radio stations,” McGinnis said of Gary Doucette, general manager of the Crow Wing County Fair.
The Minnesota Department of Health reported Thursday cases and deaths from COVID-19 in the state had climbed again with 500 cases and 13 deaths. A total of 1,458 Minnesotans have died from the respiratory illness.
“The test is $35. … It essentially looks like a pregnancy test. Once I put the solution on there, it takes 10 minutes to get results for the test. It will show me if you have the antibodies like you’ve already been exposed, you’ve gone through it or if you are asymptomatic,” McGinnis said.
The American Red Cross recently renewed its call for blood donors and started testing June 15 for a limited time all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies.
“It would be the exact same as the testing that you got done with the Red Cross,” McGinnis said.
Antibodies are formed when fighting an infection such as COVID-19, but Red Cross officials caution that a positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity and as such the Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.
COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within seven to 10 days in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org, according to officials, and the test has been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“Gary offered the fairgrounds for it to be a spot to do the testing in,” McGinnis said of the fairgrounds — site of the annual county fair, which is among the five largest county fairs in the state and was slated to run from Aug. 4-8.
Crow Wing County Fair officials made the decision in May to cancel the fair this summer after the Minnesota State Fair board of managers met and announced the cancellation of the state fair due to the coronavirus pandemic.