BEMIDJI -- Sanford Health of Northern Minnesota is now providing rapid tests in Bemidji for the coronavirus.
According to a release from Sanford, the rapid tests are for high priority hospital patients and they can provide results in 45 minutes. Sanford Health in Fargo and Sioux Falls began 90-minute testing earlier this month.
The release said that Bemidji and Bismarck are the most recent Sanford regions to implement those tests. The addition of those tests will increase Sanford's capacity up to 1,500 tests per week across the organization.
"We are very excited that this new rapid option is available in Bemidji," Dr. David Wilcox, vice president medical officer for Sanford of Northern Minnesota, said in the release. "These tests will help us make important clinical decisions and inform patients of results much faster. This will also help address the worries of our patients and the safety of our staff caring for these patients. Bringing rapid results to the most vulnerable patients of this illness is a major step in our battle against this pandemic. We are thankful to have so many great people working around the clock to deliver advances like this during these difficult times."
If patients are experiencing symptoms, including fever, cough and respiratory distress, they should call their provider instead of going directly to a medical facility, the release said.