Ravalli County Public Health and the State of Montana will have a Hamilton "Community Snapshot" drive-through testing Thursday, July 16. The free community event will be at the Hamilton High School parking lot from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. according to Joseph Hopkins of Ravalli County Public Health. The test will be for Ravalli County residents who are not currently exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 and they are encouraging "front-line" workers who don't have any symptoms to get the free coronavirus test.

Participants will remain in their vehicles and will self-swab under the direction and supervision of Public Health nurses. The testing is being done to slow the spread of the virus and prevent future outbreaks. The State of Montana is hoping the testing will be an early warning system for a possible outbreak. It is called a "snapshot" because it only offers a result for that moment in time. Individuals could be exposed to COVID-19 any time after the test. Montana officials are attempting to conduct more frequent tests to help find early spread of COVID-19. Hamilton High School is at 327 Fairgrounds Road. As of Thursday, July 9, the county had 15 active COVID-19 cases, with three people hospitalized. If you have questions, call the local Ravalli County Health Office next week at 375-6672.