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Minneapolis St. Paul News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | Minneapolis, Minnesota | kare11.com

COVID saliva testing lab opens in Oakdale

The new facility will be able to process 30,000 samples each day when at full capacity, and employ up to 250 Minnesotans.

OAKDALE, Minn. — A new facility in the east metro will help Minnesota ramp up its COVID-19 testing numbers as the state deals with a resurgence of the virus. 

The Infinity BiologiX (IBX) COVID saliva lab will be capable of processing up to 30,000 samples a day when operating at full capacity, and will employ up to 250 Minnesotans. The new facility is part of a joint effort with Vault Health, the developer of the at-home and on-site COVID saliva testing platform, and IBX, the developer of the saliva test.

“Testing is a key component of our strategy to protect Minnesotans from COVID-19,” Governor Walz said. “Our saliva testing partnership has already helped bring testing access to Minnesotans across the state, and this new lab will better prepare us to track, understand, and fight the virus in our communities.”

The saliva testing program includes establishing up to 10 semi-permanent testing sites across Minnesota, creating a mail order program which will launch as a pilot later this month, and the creation of the Oakdale lab. Initially, the lab will process tests only from the semi-permanent sites that are currently up and running, including Duluth, Winona, Moorhead, and Brooklyn Park. 

"By opening the IBX lab here in Oakdale, Minnesotans will have the optimal testing experience," said IBX Chief Executive and Scientific Officer, Dr. Andrew Brooks. "Not only will they be able to easily obtain a test they can trust, but also receive their results in less time."

The lab will reduce shipping and processing time by allowing samples to be couriered from collection sites in the state, instead of being shipped to the IBX lab in New Jersey. It's expected that people taking the saliva test in Minnesota can expect results within 24-48 hours.