Custer Health, BBPH Recommend Getting Tested for COVID-19 This Week for Thanksgiving, Versus Waiting Until Next Week

Custer Health and Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health are encouraging you to get tested for COVID-19 this week to help determine if you should travel to, or host, a Thanksgiving event.  

“Test results may take up to a week to receive, and so getting tested next week may not allow you to get results back in time to make holiday plans,” said BBPH Director Renae Moch. “There are multiple ways to take advantage of free COVID-19 testing in our region leading up to the holiday season.”

“Please note, however, that a negative test result from this week is only a point in time result. The possibility exists you may have been infected with COVID-19 between your test date and the day you receive your results,” said Custer Health Administrator Erin Ourada. “We hope everyone can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, but we want you to be as safe as possible.”

There following testing events are available in the region:

  • Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health is conducting a testing event at Bismarck Event Center on Tuesday, November 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Custer Health is conducting a testing event at Union Cemetery on Wednesday, November 18, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Northland Health Center is conducting a testing event at the Bismarck Event Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., on November 18.
  • The North Dakota Department of Health is conducting a testing event on November 19 at the Bismarck Event Center from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Testing is available in Hazen at the Sakakawea Medical Center Ambulance Bay on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Testing is available by appointment at the Bismarck State College Armory on Mondays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

All testing events are dependent on availability of testing supplies and may end sooner than scheduled times listed in the event that testing supplies are exhausted. All testing events are subject to change.

The Center for Disease Control has provided a number of tips and suggestions for ways to make Thanksgiving safer:

  • Wear a mask, with two or more layers, over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin. Make sure the mask fits snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others who do not live with you.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Keep hand sanitizer, with at least 60% alcohol, with you and use it when you are unable to wash your hands.
  • Bring your own food, drinks, plates, cups and utensils to an event.
  • Wear a mask and safely store your mask while eating and drinking.
  • Use single-use options, like salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable items like food containers, plates and utensils.
  • Limit the number of guests at a gathering.
  • Have conversations with guests ahead of time to set expectations for celebrating together.

Consider other Thanksgiving activities:

  • Schedule a time to share a meal together virtually.
  • Watch Thanksgiving Day parades, sports and movies at home.
  • Shop online sales the day after Thanksgiving and days leading up to the winter holidays.
  • Use contactless services for purchased items, like curbside pick-up.
  • Safely prepare traditional dishes and deliver them to family and neighbors in a way that does not involve contact with others (for example, leave them on the porch).

For ongoing response efforts to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Dakota Department of Health has established a COVID-19 Hotline to help answer your questions. You may call 1-866-207-2880, Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with questions. Please note that individuals seeking specific medical advice should contact their healthcare provider.

For testing event inquiries, as well as questions about other health programs and issues, please call Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health at (701) 355-1540, or you can connect with them through a variety of online platforms. Information is available at www.bismarcknd.gov, as well as through social media: via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For information in Morton, Grant, Mercer, Oliver and Sioux Counties, call Custer Health at (701) 667-3370 or connect with them online at www.custerhealth.com or through Facebook. For more info about COVID-19, visit the ND Department of Health website, NDResponse.gov, or CDC website.