DECC Expands Covid-19 Test Site Location

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the Northland public health officials are seeing a similar trend.

DULUTH, Minn. — As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the Northland public health officials are seeing a similar trend.

“We are about where we were at the beginning of November last year before we had the vaccine and we were going into our peak,” St. Louis County Public Health Division Director, Amy Westbrook says.

That’s why Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced the expansion of the DECC testing location.

It has doubled from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet to accommodate the higher number of people for testing.

“Now testing is increasing phenomenally again. From two and a half months ago we’ve gone from doing 30 a day now we are probably doing 700 a day now,” DECC Covid-19 Testing Site Supervisor, Kraig Rudstrom says.

This can be attributed to school starting again and employers requiring the test before returning to work.

“As soon as school was back up we saw a lot more k-12 students all the time. We are getting more new people than we’ve had in a long time. In the past, there’s some repeat customers. Some people have to test weekly to get back to their job. Others don’t. We’ve really seen a dramatic increase in kids and first-timers,” Rudstrom says.

Experts say although people want rapid testing, those tests are in short supply reserved for healthcare settings.

“They aren’t widely available to the general public. And so the PCR test and the sort of the anterior nares test. That’s the most common. That’s available but it typically takes one to two days to get a test result,” Westbrook says.

The DECC is open for testing in the Paulucci Hall Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For a full list of other Covid-19 testing locations in the county, click here.

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