The State of Minnesota today announced it will open a COVID-19 saliva testing site on Friday in Mankato. This will mark the fifth saliva testing location in the state, offering free saliva tests to any Minnesotan who believes they need to be tested.

Testing will be located at the former Gander Mountain, at 1940 Adams Street in Mankato. It will be open Friday through Tuesday, noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Appointments can be made through the Vault Health registration site.

The state opened the first saliva testing site in Duluth on Sept. 23. Since then, saliva testing locations have opened in Winona, Moorhead, and Brooklyn Park; state officials plan to open as many as five more across the state in coming weeks. Those tests will be processed right here in Minnesota, at the new saliva lab in Oakdale. Results will be provided via email within 24-48 hours.

Testing is free to all Minnesotans who believe they need a COVID-19 test, including those who are asymptomatic. Participants will be asked for their health insurance information so the state can bill their insurance company on their behalf. If a person is uninsured or for any reason insurance does not cover some or all of the cost, the state will cover the difference so testing remains completely free to everyone.

The saliva test has the same effectiveness rate as the traditional nasal swab and is more comfortable to take. Those who come for a test should avoid eating, drinking, chewing, or smoking anything for at least 30 minutes before providing a sample. Once they arrive at the site, they will self-administer the test by spitting into a funnel attached to a small tube. Clinic staff will be available on-site to monitor the collection process and ensure there is enough saliva to be tested.

For more information about the saliva testing site in Mankato, please visit COVID-19 Community Saliva Testing.