At a free mass testing site on Montana’s Flathead Reservation, hundreds of people are queued up in idling cars. They’re waiting an hour or more for the irritating nose swab test for the coronavirus, but most, like Francine Van Maanen, are just grateful to finally get one.
“We enjoyed the fact that they had this testing available to us, so why not get checked,” she says, while waiting in line with her husband.
Nurses wearing face shields put the swabs in plastic tubes while busily scribbling notes on clipboards. This “mass surveillance” testing event was part of Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock’s recent goal to do community surveillance testing of 60,000 Montanans a month — the state has yet to come close to hitting that.