MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Due to the nationwide shortage of COVID-19 tests, changes have been made to the testing criteria to focus on individuals who are most susceptible.

Essentia Health is following guidelines established by the Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin departments of health regarding who is eligible for COVID-19 testing.

Health care workers, including EMS providers, hospitalized patients and those in congregate living settings such as long-term care facilities will also be given priority. For those who fit the MDH testing criteria, and have completed an E-visit, can exclusively visit the drive-thru testing site at the Essentia Health St. Joseph’s-Baxter Clinic.

“We recommend patients schedule an E-visit or call our toll-free number if they are concerned about COVID-19 symptoms,” Essentia Health Infectious Disease physician Rajesh Prabhu said.

E-visits are important to screen key symptoms – shortness of breath, fever and cough, along with known exposure to COVID-19 and travel to infected areas. However, Essential Health said that if your symptoms are severe and you need to see a doctor, you can call and receive care.

Essentia Health recommends that individuals with symptoms who are not able to be tested should isolate themselves from household and intimate contact as much as possible and limit activities in public for 14 days while monitoring for symptoms.

For more information or to schedule an E-visit, head to EssentiaHealth.org or call the Essentia Health COVID-19 hotline at 833-494-0836.

Related: Coronavirus Resource Page

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