COVID-19 testing starts today on the Fort Peck Indian Reservation

Regional authorities begin testing local population for COVID-19

Starting tomorrow, COVID-19 Surveillance Testing will be available for the whole reservation.

The Fort Peck Tribes, along with Northeast Montana Health Services, and the Montana National Guard will be testing individuals at the Poplar Community Hospital Wednesday, June 3, 2020, from 11 a.m., to 3 p.m. on the East Lawn.

Tests will be done in Wolf Point Thursday, June 4, 2020, at Trinity Hospital on the East Lawn from 11 a.m., to 3 p.m..

Everyone is being encouraged to get tested.

Anyone wanting to be tested for COVID-19 must bring a valid ID along with an operational telephone number.

Anyone under 18-years-old will need a signed consent form signed by the minor’s legal guardian.

Due to the large number of expected individuals being tested for COVID-19, people should wear masks if possible.

This test is different from the previous testing kits the Tribes received, as it tests directly for the virus infection in a person. This can be done by testing for antibodies, or a lack of antibodies in a sample, according to the Abbott Laboratory Testing company, which makes the testing machine.

Several weeks ago, the Tribes came across a large number of kits to test for COVID-19 antibodies. These tests were later discredited as generating false positives and false negatives.

Tribal Councilman Alexander Smith said many of the people working are local nurses and nurse practitioners, including Tribal Councilwoman Kaci Wallette.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be notified and told to self quarantine at home during the infection period. Even without symptoms, a person could still have COVID-19 and infect others.

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