The Blaine County Journal News-Opinion - We've Got The County Covered

Fort Belknap Indian Community, State of Montana Partner on COVID-19 Community Snapshot Testing: Free testing available July 16-17 in Fort Belknap, Hays


July 15, 2020

To slow the spread of COVID-19, and prevent future outbreaks, Fort Belknap Indian Community is partnering with the State of Montana on a free community snapshot testing event Thursday-Friday, July 16 and 17 at Fort Belknap Agency and Hays.

If you’re a front-line worker, Blaine County resident or Tribal Member and don’t have any symptoms of illness, you’re encouraged to get a free Coronavirus test.

“The virus is here with us and as we learn to live in a new normal with wearing a mask, social distancing and vigilant hygiene, enhanced testing is an important tool in helping us find new cases early to limit the spread and minimize community outbreaks,” Governor Steve Bullock said.

Building from surveillance testing efforts with Tribal Nations, at long term care facilities, and with front-line health care workers, the State is pursuing more frequent and widespread COVID-19 testing to support tribal communities, businesses and industry in Montana. The effort, known as Community Snapshot Testing, aims to develop an early warning system for a COVID-19 outbreak.

Jennifer Show, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Fort Belknap Tribal Family Nurse Practitioner said, “Surveillance testing allows for early identification of potentially infected individuals with the goal of minimizing the risk of an outbreak within the Fort Belknap and surrounding communities.”

While testing of asymptomatic individuals offers only a brief snapshot in time and an individual remains susceptible to COVID-19 exposure at any point following a test, more frequent testing at the community level among a subset of the population who may have more exposure risk can help to identify spread of the virus early and allow for appropriate mitigation, contact tracing and quarantine measures to avoid a large community outbreak which can disrupt businesses now and in the future.

The test is free, fast and non-invasive. Help prevent a COVID-19 outbreak in at the Fort Belknap Indian Community and surrounding area and get tested Thursday, July 16 from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. at Horse Capture Park, Fort Belknap Agency or at the St. Paul Mission School Parking Lot in Hays. Free testing is available Friday, July 17 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at Horse Capture Park, Fort Belknap Agency. Learn more about the importance of community snapshot testing and see a calendar of upcoming testing events at


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