A downtown Grand Forks medical services provider is offering rapid COVID-19 tests that show results in 15 minutes.
Horizon Clinic, 322 DeMers Ave., is going through a period of rebranding and, as of Dec. 1, will be called Legacy Medical. The company provides doctor and nurse practitioner services to assisted living facilities and works with Edgewood Healthcare in Grand Forks, and other senior living facilities. The clinic has been conducting the rapid tests since October.
“We have felt that the more people that get tested, the safer everybody is in the state for our employees, and then the Edgewood residents would be,” said Jill Wilson, chief operating officer of Legacy Medical.
According to Wilson, the test is available to anyone in the community and is covered by most insurance policies, if certain criteria are met. The criteria includes exposure to a person confirmed to be positive for COVID-19 and being symptomatic of the illness. Legacy Medical also offers a $65 cash-fee for the test. The rapid test is a nasal swab that identifies proteins bound to the live virus. Wilson said the lab is well-stocked with testing kits.
“The test is rather painless,” Wilson said. “It involves taking a swab and swabbing the nostril, about an inch into the nose.”
People wanting a rapid test can call or text the facility to set up an appointment. Once an appointment is set up, people go to the Edgewood Healthcare facility downtown and park in the alley between North Third Street and North Fourth Street and enter the lab’s marked door on the east side of the building. Results can be delivered through a phone call or text message.
The Herald visited the location on Monday, Nov. 23, and found a steady stream of clients entering and leaving the building.
“We do our best to accommodate same-day appointments, but we do book out at times,” Wilson said.
Other medical facilities in the region offer rapid tests as well, but only in certain situations, due to the need to conserve testing kits. Altru Health System can conduct rapid tests in-house, but the majority of the tests are sent to the state lab for processing. Rapid testing there is being reserved for people who need to be admitted to the hospital, according to Annie Bonzer, manager of marketing communications.
Just a few blocks from Horizon Clinic, Spectra Health also can conduct COVID-19 testing, but rapid tests are reserved for people deemed to be “at-risk.” Like most other facilities, the tests are sent out to be processed.
At Sanford Health locations in East Grand Forks, people can call to be screened to see if they need a test, and the walk-in clinic at 621 DeMers Avenue also has testing throughout the week, by appointment. Tests are sent to Sanford Health in Fargo for processing, and the wait time for results is averaging about four days, according to Christen Rennich, a media relations specialist there.
Wilson at Horizon Clinic said the rapid tests offer peace of mind to people in a time of “high-anxiety and stress.”
“We are really thankful that we're able to help out during a pandemic,” she said. “The patients that come to the lab are very very appreciative to get the results so quickly.”