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38 positive COVID-19 cases come out of Mower County testing event

By Michael Stoll

The free COVID-19 event over the weekend at the Mower County Fairgrounds ran smoothly with 2,059 tests conducted, according to numbers provided by Public Information Officer Nick Kimball.

“The testing at the Fairgrounds went great,” said Pam Kellogg, community health division manager. “We hoped we would get 1,000 people per day, but we also thought that number may be a little ambitious. We ended up meeting our goals and we could have served even more. It was a well thought out set-up and it was a great collaboration between the State Emergency Operations Center, Minnesota Department of Health, local Emergency Management and local Public Health.” 

As of Tuesday, Kellogg said 2,022 tests have been processed with 38 testing positive so far.

Before the event, officials were estimating time spent at the testing would be about 15 minutes, which Kellogg affirmed Tuesday when she was giving a report to the Mower County Board of Commissioners, saying that many of those getting tested were getting in and out in less time than that.

“The longest was 20 minutes and that was Sunday morning,” she said.

Mower County Sheriff Steve Sandvik also told commissioners Tuesday the way the tests were carried out will act as a model throughout the state.

“We put something on that we haven’t seen in the Cities,” Sandvik said. “We tested over 2,000 people in two days. That will be grown and spread out.”

Whether another free testing event will be held remains to be seen.

“We will look over data as the test results come back and determine our next steps after that,” Kellogg said.

— Eric Johnson contributed to this story.