Carris Health, CentraCare pause COVID-19 testing for those without symptoms

Citing a shortage of supplies and staff, Carris Health and CentraCare have paused testing of asymptomatic people for now.

Health care working in protective gear administers COVID-19 test
At a public COVID-19 testing site in October 2020 at the Willmar National Guard Armory, swabber Nancy Anderson administers a COVID-19 test. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune file photo
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WILLMAR — Beginning Friday, Jan. 14, Carris Health and CentraCare will stop testing asymptomatic people at its testing sites for now.

The pause in testing is due to a significant increase in demand for COVID-19 testing and a low supply of testing supplies and staff.

The pause in testing will include curbside, clinic, emergency department and urgent care sites.

The pause includes:

  • Back to school testing
  • Return to work testing
  • Daycare testing
  • Pre-travel and event testing
  • COVID-19 confirmation tests
  • “Worried well” repeat testers

Other health care organizations in the state are making similar decisions, according to a news release from Carris/CentraCare.
People in the community are encouraged to use at-home tests or go to a community testing site.


The organizations said they hope the testing pause will be temporary and ask people in their communities to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask, getting vaccinated, socially distancing and washing your hands.

In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: or phone 320-214-4340
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