Meet the COVID-19 Swab Team in Minot

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 5:32 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. – It has been more than eight months since the first positive COVID result in Ward County, and thousands of tests have been administered since then.

Your News Leader wanted to introduce you to the people who are on the front line of Trinity’s COVID testing efforts.

The members of the Trinity Health COVID-19 Swab Team come from different medical backgrounds.

“The pediatric clinic working with little babies,” said Swab Team member Sarah Howard.

“I normally used to work in diabetes education,” said Ashley Lesmann, another member of the Swab Team.

As the need for testing grew, hospital leadership asked some employees to relocate to a new position.

“With the coronavirus, happening Trinity needed me to work in a different department and that’s how I ended up here on the Swab Team,” said Howard.

Every day they said they feel safe suiting up.

“We wear gloves. We wear gowns. some of choosing to wear our surgical scrubs,” said Lesmann.

They also help symptomatic patients through the testing process, from making their appointment to getting their results.

“We answer phone and questions patients have about COVID. We help to put them on the schedule. We get all of our stuff ready for our day at swabbing, and we come out here and do the actual swabbing ourselves,” said Howard.

The center is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday.

Symptomatic patients simply drive up to get tested.

The five Swab Team members along with volunteers said that they can test up to 300 people a day.

The members of the team admit there is never a shortage of work, but said they have a good team and are happy to be in a position to do something to help.

“COVID has affected our community significantly, and although it is difficult for everyone involved we try to stay as positive as possible,” said Howard.

The Swab Team also said they are thankful for all of the volunteers that assist them with testing.

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