Essentia Health to ramp up COVID-19 testing
Testing has expanded to include anyone with symptoms.
Essentia Health expanded its testing criteria to include all patients who have symptoms of COVID-19, in accordance with Gov. Tim Walz’s request Thursday, April 23, and to better control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
This change is effective immediately at all Essentia Health testing sites.
Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath should start an e-visit at https://bit.ly/2S6FhMN . E-visits are free for patients with COVID-19 symptoms. Patients can also call Essentia Health’s hotline at 833-494-0836. An Essentia provider will evaluate symptoms and, if necessary, refer patients for a test.
Testing was previously limited to specific groups of people, such as first responders, health care workers, patients over 65 and those with underlying health conditions, per guidelines. That will change as Gov. Walz calls for health care providers to ramp up capacity to as many as 20,000 tests per day statewide. Essentia Health is poised to meet that challenge, officials said in a news release Friday, April 24.
A list of Essentia Health testing sites is also available at https://bit.ly/2S6FhMN . These sites are only for patients who have first obtained a medical order for testing through an e-visit or the COVID-19 hotline. More testing sites might be added in the future.