North Memorial Health is committed to the health and safety of its customers and the communities they live in, and that includes providing unrestricted access to accurate, prompt COVID-19 test services. North Memorial Health was one of the first healthcare organizations in Minnesota to broaden its criteria for testing consumers for active COVID-19 infections and will maintain that broader criteria despite recent shortages of testing supplies and other impacts to test availability.
North Memorial Health’s walk-up and drive-through test sites do not require an appointment or doctor referral and are available to anyone who desires to be tested for exposure to COVID-19. North Memorial Health offers nasal swab (PCR) tests community test locations for anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the virus recently, or who are experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Results are available typically within seven days. North Memorial Health is currently testing approximately 2,000 people per week at its test locations which are located at the North Memorial Health Specialty Center – Robbinsdale (3435 W. Broadway, Robbinsdale) and North Market (4414 Humboldt Ave. N., Minneapolis).
“Knowledge is power, and the more information everyone has about their own health, particularly when it comes to COVID-19, the better choices each individual can make for themselves and for their community,” said J. Kevin Croston, MD, CEO of North Memorial Health. “We’re working closely with our partners to ensure the availability of adequate testing supplies as well as efficient turnaround times for results. We are determined to support safer, healthier communities by providing access for tests to anyone who wishes to be tested for COVID-19.”
In keeping with this commitment, North Memorial Health will be introducing a new blood test later this month that can detect the presence of antibodies to COVID-19, indicating previous exposure to the virus that consumers can choose to take if they are concerned that they were previously exposed to COVID-19. The Siemens SARS CoV-2 total antibody test is 100% accurate for negative (non-reactive) results at 14 days after onset of symptoms and has a positive predictive value of 96.5% for positive (reactive) results. This means the chance of a false positive result is very low.
“Testing positive for antibodies does not mean you can’t get COVID-19 again, but it does provide some answers in a time of great uncertainty,” said Dr. Croston, adding that the new test is one of the most accurate available in the U.S. today.
While a positive result does not imply immunity to COVID-19, it can confirm that someone has had exposure to the virus and may also qualify them as a donor for convalescent blood plasma therapy for COVID-19.
For more information about North Memorial Health’s COVID-19 testing programs, click here.
North Memorial Health provides access to high-quality, low-cost care throughout the Twin Cities through its medical transportation services and two hospitals – North Memorial Health Hospital and Maple Grove Hospital. North Memorial Health Clinics which include primary care, specialty care and hospice are part of a joint venture with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota that is transforming the healthcare experience for consumers.