Health Department Offering COVID Testing for Outbound Travelers
The Missoula City County Health Department is now offering COVID 19 testing for both outbound and inbound travelers.
“We've recently opened up our clinic to provide testing for travel now,” said Farr. “So if you are getting ready to travel and you need to have a negative test to prove a negative test before travel, which is required in certain places, then we can provide that as well by just calling 258-INFO and getting scheduled to get a test.”
The tests will be administered at the Flynn Lane clinic.
In addition, Farr said COVID 19 vaccinations are still available for anyone who desires to one.
“We are continuing to make the vaccine available to anyone who would like a vaccination that's aged 12 and above,” she said. “We have our standing clinic over at (The old Lucky’s Market location) at Southgate Mall. We are also doing mobile clinics and really trying to get out into the community and into our surrounding communities as well out in the further reaches of the county and we are also still doing the occasional pop up clinic at various places of business.”
Regarding the Delta variant of the COVID 19 virus, Farr said it is probably in Missoula, but hasn’t officially been detected yet.
“We have seen it in Montana,” she said. “I don't believe we've actually had one come back in Missoula yet, but I just want to remind everyone that not all samples are being tested for variants at this time, they're still just doing random sampling for variants. And so it is most likely that we probably do have the Delta variant in our community and we just haven't picked it up on the random sampling yet for variants.”
Farr said those who have been fully vaccinated have nothing to fear from the Delta variant.
“The vaccine does protect you from the Delta variant as well as the other variants at this time,” she said. “The difference with the Delta variant is that this is the variant that was first identified in India, and it's now spreading across the globe. With the predictions going into fall, we do expect that we're going to see another surge in cases and it's going to be among people who are not vaccinated and most likely it will primarily be the Delta variant.”
Farr said currently 60 percent of the eligible population in Missoula County has been vaccinated for COVID 19, and 53 percent of the total population has been vaccinated, including children under 12. She said Missoula is nowhere near what would be considered herd immunity, and she fully expects an uptick in cases as fall approaches.
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