Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health (BBPH) will shift pandemic response priorities from mass COVID-19 testing events to mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Bismarck Event Center.
“As COVID-19 positive cases have declined across the state, demand for testing has also decreased,” said BBPH Director Renae Moch. “We were doing about 1,000 tests each event just a couple months ago and now we’re completing around 200 tests during these mass testing events. There are other testing opportunities in the community people can take advantage of, including rapid testing options, so this could be another reason for the decrease in demand for mass testing.”
The large testing events proved to be a critical tool in identifying symptomatic and asymptomatic positives in the community for much of the year in 2020. BBPH conducted their first COVID-19 mass testing event on May 2, 2020, at the Bismarck Event Center. At that event, 661 tests were completed. Testing events were also conducted in the BBPH parking lot early in the summer, but quickly outgrew that venue, and long-term plans were made to utilize the Bismarck Event Center to help offset inclement weather concerns.
“It was great to see the collaborative efforts and coordination among several City departments and state agencies who came together during this public health emergency to make these mass testing events possible,” said Moch. “There was a lot of planning involved by multiple entities to ensure COVID-19 testing was available for residents in the Bismarck-Mandan community each week. The testing process became seamless and that is a credit to the people working to ensure we had appropriate testing supplies, personal protective equipment, enough staff to operate and a location to conduct the testing.”
BBPH’s final scheduled COVID-19 testing event was conducted at the Bismarck Event Center on January 12. If the need for COVID-19 mass testing would arise again, BBPH could look at options of offering this service in the future.
COVID-19 testing is still available in the community at various locations.
Bismarck State College – By Appointment
COVID-19 testing continues to be available on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Bismarck State College Armory. Individuals wanting testing must register for an appointment: https://covidtestingbsc.as.me/schedule.php.
Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health – By Appointment
Testing for symptomatic individuals via PCR testing or BinaxNOW rapid antigen testing is available by appointment at BBPH at a testing trailer on its parking lot. Individuals receiving a negative antigen screening result will be followed with a PCR test to confirm results. Individuals wanting to set up an appointment for this service are asked to call BBPH at (701) 355-1540.
Testing for asymptomatic individuals is being provided through rapid antigen (BinaxNOW) screening at Gateway Mall, Monday through Friday from 3-7 p.m.
Mayo Pharmacy also provides COVID-19 testing for the community for a fee. Appointments can be booked online at https://www.mayopharmacynd.com/. COVID-19 testing also continues to be available through local healthcare providers and clinics.
Even as more individuals receive COVID-19 vaccinations, you should still continue to practice universal precautions to keep yourself, and those around you, as healthy as possible:
- Avoid large gatherings.
- Practice physical distancing that keeps you at least six feet from other people who are not in your household.
- Wear a face covering if social distancing is not possible.
- Wash your hands with soap often. If soap is not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
- Monitor your health daily and be alert for COVID-19 symptoms.
The ND Department of Health continues to provide a COVID-19 Hotline (1-866-207-2880) to help answer questions, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Individuals seeking specific medical advice should contact their healthcare provider.
For testing event, vaccination or other program inquiries, please call BBPH, or connect with us through an online platform. Info is available on the City of Bismarck website (www.bismarcknd.gov), as well as through the BBPH homepage (www.bismarcknd.gov/publichealth) and its social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For more info about COVID-19, visit the ND Department of Health website, NDResponse.gov, or CDC website.