The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) began accepting January 2021 appointments at its community testing sites across the state. Each site offers safe, no-barrier COVID-19 testing at no cost to participants. Appointments are strongly encouraged, but not required.
“Testing is a key component of our strategy to protect Minnesotans from COVID-19,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “Through a robust, collaborative statewide testing program, we have made great progress in removing obstacles to testing. When combined with social distancing, masking, avoiding crowds and staying home when sick, testing can help us slow the spread of COVID-19 and bridge to the better days we know are coming.”
In order to help prevent further spread of the virus, the Minnesota Department of Health has set up over 20 semi-permanent community testing sites statewide. These sites allow Minnesotans to get tested near where they live so they can make informed decisions to protect their families and communities.
“Our COVID-19 testing strategy has been data-driven since day one with the goal of offering low-barrier testing for every Minnesotan who needs it. The sooner we identify positive cases, the sooner infected individuals can take steps to isolate and stop the spread of the virus,” said Dan Huff, MDH assistant commissioner for health protection. “Our community testing strategy continues to expand access all across Minnesota and has already allowed the state to conduct more than half a million COVID-19 tests at community testing sites alone. This disease is spread by people who don’t even know they have it. We want people to get tested, even if they’re asymptomatic. If you have been working outside the home during this dial back period, are a case contact, or a young adult, you should get tested. By providing more options, we make it more likely that people will get tested and help us stop the spread of the virus.”
Community testing is offered in the following locations across the state in January: Albert Lea, Anoka, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Crookston, Duluth, Hibbing, Hutchinson, Inver Grove Heights, MSP Airport, Mankato, Minneapolis, Moorhead, Morris, St. Cloud, St. Paul, Stillwater, Wadena, Winona, and Worthington.
Each site offers saliva testing at no cost to participants. If a participant is unable to carry out a saliva test, every effort will be made to accommodate a suitable testing option. 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 if insurance does not cover some or all of the cost, the state will cover the difference so testing remains open to all at no cost.
Testing is open to anyone who believes they need a COVID-19 test, with or without insurance. State guidance on who should get tested was recently updated and can be found on the Minnesota COVID-19 Response webpage, Who Should Get Tested?.
Those who arrive 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 salivating into a funnel attached to a small tube. Clinic staff will be available on-site to monitor the collection process.
Individuals seeking testing can register at COVID-19 Community Testing Sites. Days and hours of testing may vary between sites. Tests will be processed in Minnesota, at the saliva lab in Oakdale run by Vault Health and Infinity Biologix (IBX). Results will be provided via email in approximately 48-72 hours.