State officials are hoping to have a new COVID-19 saliva testing lab up and running by next month. Dan Huff is an assistant commissioner with the Minnesota Department of Health.

“We’re hoping the lab will come on-line in October,” said Huff. “Obviously they have to rent the space and hire people, but they’re moving at lightning speed and we’re excited about the new partnership.”

Huff says the state has drastically increased testing capacity since the start of the pandemic and this lab coming on-line will allow that to continue.

“It will more than double the state capacity,” said Huff. “It’s one more solution for our testing needs and it’s still a very reliable test.”

The lab, which will be located in Oakdale, is expected to employ up to 250 people.