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State opens new free COVID-19 testing sites

Health officials urge stepped-up testing as children who are not eligible to be vaccinated return to school, in an attempt to slow the spread of the delta variant.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Editors note: The video above first aired Aug. 17, 2021. 

State health officials are announcing the opening of two semi-permanent COVID-19 testing sites that will offer free saliva testing to anyone who needs it. 

The new sites will be located in Bloomington and Saint Paul, with testing beginning Monday, Aug. 30 at the Bloomington site and Tuesday, Aug. 31 in St. Paul.  

Here are the locations of those sites.

Bloomington Testing Site
Former DMV
9930 Logan Ave. S
Monday – Friday (beginning Aug. 30)
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saint Paul Testing Site
Roy Wilkins Auditorium
175 West Kellogg Blvd.
Beginning Aug. 31:
Monday – Thursday
11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Sunday
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says demand for COVID-19 testing has increased throughout Minnesota due to concerns over the rapid spread of the Delta variant. They maintain that testing will remain critical to slowing the spread of COVID in coming months as students and teachers return to school, and activities move inside when the weather turns colder. 

“As we continue to make progress on vaccinations, testing remains a key component of our strategy to protect Minnesotans from COVID-19,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm in a released statement. “Through a robust, collaborative testing program, we have removed many obstacles to testing for communities across the state. Combined with social distancing, masking, and staying home when sick, testing can help us slow the spread of the Delta variant as we continue to get as many folks vaccinated as possible.”

In addition to opening the new semi-permanent sites, MDH has relocated two testing sites in Mankato and St. Cloud. The last day of testing at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center. the current Mankato site location, is Monday, Aug. 30, while testing at the new Mankato Armory site will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 1. 

In St. Cloud, the last day of testing at River’s Edge Convention Center is Tuesday, Aug. 31, with testing at the St. Cloud Armory kicking off Thursday, Sept. 2.

Here are the new locations. 

Mankato Testing Site
Mankato Armory
100 Martin Luther King Dr.
Mankato, MN 56001

Monday-Thursday (beginning Sept. 1)
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

St. Cloud Testing Site
St. Cloud Armory
1710 Veterans Dr.
St. Cloud, MN 56303

Monday-Thursday (beginning Sept. 2)
11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Health officials emphasize that testing is free at all of the state’s community testing sites. Those being tested 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.

State guidance on who should get tested can be found on the MDH COVID-19 Testing webpage.

While walk-ins are welcome, people seeking testing at state sites can schedule a test at Vault Health. Tests will be processed in Minnesota at the saliva lab in Oakdale. Results will be provided via email in approximately 48-72 hours.

State residents who want a COVID test can:

 

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