Healthcare

KRH Opens New COVID-19 Testing Location After Weather Damaged Previous Site

Self-swab testing site is drive-up and by appointment only as hospital sees lower numbers of people requesting tests

By Myers Reece
Kalispell Regional Healthcare. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Kalispell Regional Healthcare has opened a new drive-up COVID-19 testing location after frigid temperatures and wind caused serious damage to the tent housing its previous operation at the Grace Church parking lot, leading to its closure.

The new self-swab testing site is for asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people, by appointment only, and is located on the east side of the Two Medicine Building at 160 Heritage Way in Kalispell.

A KRH spokesperson said the decisions to change locations, rather than rebuild the tent, and switch to a scaled-down appointment-only model were based on decreasing numbers of people getting tested. She also said online scheduling has proven effective.

According to numbers provided by the hospital last week, KRH processed 16,000 in-house COVID-19 tests in its lab in November, a figure that had fallen to slightly above 10,000 in January and under 4,000 so far in February.

A testing appointment can be scheduled online at krh.org/COVID19 or by calling the COVID Testing Scheduling Line at (406) 890-7294. KRH also operates testing sites for symptomatic people, and those locations can be found at the same webpage.

Once scheduled, people arrive at their appointment time, park in a designated spot and text or call the staff to let them know they have arrived. Then they perform self-swab tests under the supervision of trained staff from KRH, according to a hospital press release.

“Clear instructions will be provided,” the release stated, “and, for people unable or uncomfortable with collecting their own sample, services will be available to have the swab performed by trained staff.”

KRH’s Whitefish COVID testing location is also relocating. Beginning Feb. 22, COVID testing is moving to the Cornerstone building at 3004 Hospital Way on the North Valley Hospital campus. This testing site is offering scheduled appointments by calling (406) 862-1754 and pre-operative testing as well.           

According to KRH, the tests will be processed as quickly as possible and results will be shared within three to five days. If you have any questions about symptoms or testing, please call the hospital’s 24-hour call center at (406) 890-7272.

Learn more about our COVID testing locations and resources at krh.org/COVID19.

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