Missoula health now offering free COVID testing for outbound travelers | Local News


A COVID-19 particle is pictured in this image provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Missoula City-County Health Department’s COVID-19 testing clinic is now offering free testing for residents who are planning to leave the state.

“MCCHD has seen incredible demand for this service from our community and is excited to offer this to Missoula County residents,” Missoula County Health Department spokeswoman Hayley Devlin said in a Friday press release.

Devlin said her office gets lots of inquiries from people wondering about testing for travel. “We get calls every day,” she added.

The health department encourages residents to book a test with plenty of time to receive the results if they are required by the travel destination, as labs are only open on business days.

The tests administered are standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, the release said. It is up to the traveler to know whether a standard PCR tests meets the requirements of the travel destination.

PCR test results usually take about two to five days since results have to be sent to the state lab, Devlin said. Rapid testing isn’t an option since PCR results are usually more accurate.

Residents are also encouraged to consider getting COVID-19 tests after they return from their destination to limit the spread of cases and any new variants in the Missoula community.

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