Thursday, 873 people drove through the Community Snapshot COVID-19 Testing Clinic in Hamilton. Ravalli County Public Health, with help from the Montana National Guard and state health staff, had three testing stations set up in the Hamilton High School Parking lot July 16. All the stations were busy at 10 a.m., when the testing began. By the end of the day at 6 p.m. only one testing site was needed as the pace of testing slowed. People stayed in their cars and self-swabbed their nasal passage with direction from nurses. Following the tests, the National Guard delivered the samples to the State Lab. Those who tested negative will be receiving notification by mail. But those who test positive will get a phone call and receive further instructions. The statewide testing is to determine the extent of the spread of the infection and is called a snapshot because it shows many results for a short moment in time. Public Information Officer of Ravalli County Heath Joseph Hopkins said the testing can help identify early spread, allowing quarantines to avoid a large community outbreak.

Friday's report from the Ravalli County Public Health Department showed 4 new cases of COVID-19. The county now has 13 active cases of the coronavirus. Contact tracing has been conducted and all active cases are in isolation and their contacts are in quarantine, Hopkins said.

Public Health again urged the community to continue being cautious - maintain social distancing, wash your hands often and wear a mask when you encounter a situation where you cannot maintain the 6-foot distancing or there is a crowd of people. If you have questions call 375-6672.

A testing station at Hamilton Community Snapshot COVID-19 test. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

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