Free community-wide surveillance testing
An unprecedented partnership to face an unprecedented time in history
Free community-wide COVID-19 surveillance testing will be available starting Dec. 7 thanks to an unprecedented partnership through Big Sky Relief.
LetsGetChecked is the company that will have an onsite mobile lab located at the Big Sky County Water and Sewer District 363 parking lot. The test results will be processed in 24 hours or less and results will be provided directly to state and county health officials.
Kevin Germain, chairman of Big Sky Resort Tax said he is “continually impressed by the Big Sky community showing true Montana spirit. People see a need and they pull together to get big things done.”
The Big Sky School District, community members, small businesses, large employers and healthcare and public safety employees will all have access to the testing.
“Financial resources for the testing and follow-up contact tracing for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be provided entirely by this collaborative, adding to the resources currently available,” according to a Big Sky Relief press release.
Over $2 million has been harnessed since April 2020 for Big Sky Relief COVID-19 relief grants and aid that has benefited the community. Financial support for this effort comes from the Big Sky philanthropic community, including the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation, Spanish Peaks Community Foundation, and Moonlight Basin Community Foundation; Community employers including the Yellowstone Club, Spanish Peaks Mountain Club, Moonlight Basin, Big Sky Resort, Suffolk Construction; Big Sky Resort Area District; and Visit Big Sky.
All components of the testing program, which will start Dec. 7, 2020, have been designed in close collaboration with Big Sky Relief, Bozeman Health, county and state officials and other local partners.
Bozeman Health will oversee clinical elements of the testing program, as well as provide support for contact tracing.
“In designing plans for surveillance testing, Big Sky Relief worked with Gallatin City-County Health Department to ensure that test results are reported to state and local health departments and to design the effort so that it does not impact testing capacity for people who are symptomatic or close contacts of a known case,” said Gallatin County Health Officer Matt Kelley. “It is critical that the Big Sky Relief surveillance is adding testing capacity in the county without straining existing testing capacity.”
Ciara Wolfe, Committee Chair of the Big Sky Relief and V.P. of Philanthropy for the Yellowstone Club Community Foundation noted that the program will be adaptable to meet the ever-evolving impacts of the pandemic.
“Partners have been and will continue to be committed to provide the support this community needs for the duration of this pandemic and through unexpected challenges yet to come,” she said.
Matt Kidd, Managing Director of CrossHarbor Capital, which is the largest financial backer of the community testing effort, said the organization is committed to providing the resources to help the community weather the pandemic.
“However long that takes,” he said. “We are proud to be a part of a community that identifies needs and truly shows up for their neighbors.”
Further details can be found at https://bigskyrelief.org/