Published on October 20, 2021

Essentia Health moving to self-swab testing for COVID-19

With COVID-19 cases still high in the region, as well as the demand for testing, Essentia Health is changing its testing procedures. Effective immediately, all patients who schedule a COVID test at one of our clinics will receive a kit to perform their own test. This is for patients who want a test only and are not scheduling a routine visit with their provider.

Patients must schedule a test at their Essentia clinic in their region. They can do so through our MyChart patient portal, by calling their local clinic or scheduling an E-visit.

Once the patient has arrived at their scheduled appointment, they can check-in, receive a test kit, then go back to their vehicle and conduct the simple nasal swab (instructions provided). They will return the sample to the designated collection location. The entire process should take about 15 minutes.

This change ensures efficient use of Essentia’s resources so that we can more readily offer COVID booster shoots, flu vaccines, care for patients and more. It also enhances the ability to provide increased access to safe and timely COVID-19 testing that will help meet the growing demand in the communities we serve.

Not only has demand for tests increased, but the shutdown of many government testing sites has funneled more patients into Essentia’s clinics, creating volume challenges for our staff and patients.

Patients concerned about symptoms should still seek a video visit on demand through MyChart, an in-person appointment with a primary care provider or at urgent care.

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