Testing for the virus in Madison County
Low cases and low testing needs
A critical aspect of states’ phased reopening due to the COVID-19 pandemic is the ability to diagnostically test its populations. The ability to test Madison County’s small population appears to be on the right track.
All the things needed to test people for the coronavirus - swabs, gloves, masks, gowns, transporting vials, shipping material – are not at sufficient levels to handle the crisis nationally. Montana’s testing capacity is not yet adequate nor is Madison County’s. But supplies are increasing.
“We are not seeing COIVD-29 symptoms lately,” Madison Valley Medical Center CEO Allen Rohrback said. “There is no need to do a bunch of testing.”
According to Gov. Steve Bullock, Montana’s testing capacity needs to be at 60,000 tests a month to ensure symptomatic Montanans could receive a diagnostic test. As of May 19, Montana has conducted nearly 30,000 tests. Active cases are on the decline in Montana, but summer traffic is increasing. Out-ofstate travelers will be a concern throughout the emergency.
Bullock issued a 14-day quarantine requirement to travelers which will expire June 1. Individual responsibility will be key in keeping positive cases low. “We don’t have a sick community,” Rohrback said.