The Northfield Hospital and Clinics announced today they are expanding COVID testing to include asymptomatic people (no symptoms) who have been exposed to someone testing positive for COVID-19.

In a news release the Northfield Hospital and Clinics says exposure is being within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes without a mask to a person who has tested positive for the virus.

"If you have been exposed to a confirmed case, you should quarantine yourself for a full 14 days and monitor for symptoms, even if you test negative.  Infection could develop at any time during the quarantine period," the new release says adding, "Northfield Hospital and Clinics continues to test any person with symptoms of COVID-19."

"Symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, body aches, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea."

"Testing is done by appointment.  Asymptomatic people with an exposure to a confirmed positive case can schedule a lab-only visit to Northfield Hospital and Clinic's respiratory clinic.  You can also see a provider if you choose, just indicate this when making your appointment."

To make an appointment phone 507-646-1494.

The news release concludes, "If you need help with COVID symptoms, call your clinic.  In an emergency, such as severe trouble breathing, go to an Emergency Department. (If you have been exposed to COVID but you have no symptoms, that is not an emergency.)"

Northfield Hospital officials say, "The amount of time it takes to get COVID test results varies, based on lab capacity.  Northfield Hospital and Clinic's testing capacity is based on availability of supplies, and may change."

The Minnesota Department of Health lists testing sites across the state, searchable by county here.

Joe Stadele