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COVID-19 Testing For Travel Purposes

Community news | Thursday, August 13, 2020

As states lift restrictions, travel across the nation is resuming. Some states are requiring out-of-state travelers to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to arrival, and without this negative result passengers are subject to fourteen day quarantine. Because of testing supply shortages across the nation, state and local health departments have designated certain situations as priorities for testing. This prioritization ensures that those at highest risk are promptly identified, allowing health departments to minimize the potential spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Effective July 28, 2020, the Montana Public Health Laboratory identified the following individuals as priorities for COVID-19 testing:

  • Symptomatic, regardless of hospitalization
  • Close contacts and outbreak investigations coordinated by Public Health authorities
  • Frontline workers (Healthcare workers in high-risk situations, staff of Assisted Living Facilities and Long Term Care centers)
  • Residents of select congregate settings (group homes, institutions, other facilities)

The Montana Public Health Laboratory has indicated that the testing of asymptomatic people for activities, such as travel, is a non-priority. With the continued shortages with testing supplies, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital (MDMH) must align COVID-19 testing services with the Montana Public Health Laboratory; and therefore, effective Wednesday, August 12, 2020, MDMH will no longer perform specimen collection for individuals who require a negative COVID-19 test result for travel purposes.

We recommend that travelers explore the several at-home testing opportunities that are available at the following website: