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New Anoka COVID testing site to open Friday

A second additional site in Cottage Grove will be operational next week, and testing will be expanded at the existing facility at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul.

ANOKA, Minn — Minnesotans desperate for a COVID test will have an additional option with the opening of a new community site Friday in Anoka.

Governor Tim Walz announced that the site at the Anoka Armory, 408 East Main St., will begin operations with both appointments and walkups from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Friday and Saturday, Jan. 7 and 8.

Beginning Jan. 13, the Anoka site will do tests from Thursday through Monday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., giving residents a weekend testing option. Health officials say the community clinic can accommodate 800 people each day.

A second new site at 8180 Belden Blvd. in Cottage Grove will begin testing next week on Jan. 13, and will also operate between Thursday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This site can test up to 1,000 Minnesotans per day.

Both the Anoka and Cottage Grove locations will offer PCR saliva testing.

In St. Paul, National Guard members will deploy at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in the RiverCentre starting Thursday, Jan. 6 to increase testing capacity 50%, from 2,000 to 3,000 tests per day. This site offers both PCR saliva and antigen testing.

“Minnesotans deserve access to COVID-19 testing. As we confront the highly contagious Omicron variant, we’re working to make sure testing is as accessible as possible,” said Governor Walz in a statement. “Getting tested is a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19.”

While walkups are fine, appointments are strongly encouraged for the Anoka site and many others offered by the state. You can book one by accessing the Minnesota COVID-19 Response webpage.

Along with state-run community testing sites, Minnesota has partnered with nearly 500 providers who are also offering COVID tests. You can find one near you by checking out a map on the MDH website.

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