Positive infection numbers for coronavirus continue to climb across the US. Some blame the increase is due to more testing, as many states have increased their efforts. Others are blaming the uptick in case numbers on riots, rallies, Memorial Day weekend activities, or the fact that a lot of states are now relaxing stay-at-home orders and increasing exposure. Positive cases continue to climb in Montana as we move into week three of Phase 2.

NBC Montana reported in late May that the state's goal is to eventually conduct 60,000 tests. When the coronavirus first started impacting Montana it was nearly impossible to get a test without a doctor's order. Now that the test kits have become more available, it's getting substantially easier to get a test.

Last weekend, the community of Red Lodge hosted a drive-thru testing event and most of the Montana reservations have or will be hosting drive-up testing events. Billings is offering a drive-through testing event too, scheduled for this Saturday, June 20th at the upper parking lot of MetraPark.

In a press release from Riverstone Health, President and CEO Jim Felton said,

Like many communities across the state, we are undertaking public asymptomatic testing as a part of Gov. Steve Bullock’s reopening plan for Montana. Because some people who have COVID-19 do not have symptoms, and the disease spreads rapidly, this testing is important to help us prevent community spread of the disease.

Drive-up testing at MetraPark will be held from 9 AM to Noon on Saturday and you must be symptom-free. You do not need a doctor's note. Health officials are encouraging anyone who has been traveling outside of the county or state, have attended rallies/large group activities or who have been unable to maintain social distancing are encouraged to participate.

The procedure is quick and simple and involves inserting a swab about an inch into each nostril. Test results are usually back within two weeks. For additional information about the free testing event and to download the consent form, CLICK HERE.