Mail-order COVID-19 tests now available to all Minnesotans; 11 new testing sites to open next week

As the state continues to expand access to COVID-19 testing, the Minnesota Department of Health announced Thursday that the COVID-19 Test at Home program is now available to all Minnesotans.

The mail-order program was previously made available in 23 counties and the Red Lake Nation as part of a pilot program but is now available to anyone in the state who wants to utilize it.

Additionally, MDH announced that 11 longer-term COVID-19 testing sites will open across the state next week. Ten of the sites will be at Minnesota National Guard Armories while the 11th will be in the west metro. The complete list along with opening dates can be seen below.

Nearly 100 members of the National Guard are being deployed to provide support at those testing sites, with the armories being staffed by a combination of local public health officials and National Guard members.

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The news comes as Minnesota has reported record-high numbers of new cases in a single-day and deaths this week.

"Minnesota is entering the most difficult phase of the pandemic yet," MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. "We have record levels of new cases, high hospitalization numbers, and increased community spread. At the same time, we know promising vaccines are entering new stages of development."

"Right now, our job is to build a bridge to that day when safe and effective vaccines are widely available. We do that by working together to limit the impacts of COVID-19 on our families and communities through the simple steps we know make a difference. That includes social distancing, masking, avoiding crowds, staying home when sick, and getting tested when appropriate. This latest expansion of testing makes that last part easier by providing Minnesotans with an unprecedented level of access to COVID-19 tests, putting nearly every Minnesotan just three days from a test result," Malcolm added.

All of the new testing sites, as well as the mail-order program, are free and available to all Minnesotans, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. No insurance is required, either.

MDH also announced it will open another new saliva testing site in Burnsville on Monday. It will be the 10th saliva testing site operated by Vault Medical Services. The site will be located at the former Pier 1 store.

Below is a complete list of the 11 new longer-term testing sites, along with their locations and the date they open. All sites will be open three to five days per week, at least through the end of the year.

Albert Lea
National Guard Armory
410 Prospect Ave.
Opens Nov. 18

Anoka
National Guard Armory
408 Main Street E
Opens Nov. 17

Crookston
National Guard Armory
1801 University Ave.
Opens Nov. 16

Fairmont
National Guard Armory
700 N Fairlakes Ave.
Opens Nov. 18

Hibbing
National Guard Armory
2310 Brooklyn Dr.
Opens Nov. 18

Hutchinson
National Guard Armory
1200 Adams St. SE
Opens Nov. 30

Inver Grove Heights
National Guard Armory
8076 Babcock Trail
Opens Nov. 17

Morris
National Guard Armory
722 Iowa Ave.
Opens Nov. 18

Stillwater
National Guard Armory
350 Maryknoll Dr. N.
Opens Nov. 16

Wadena
National Guard Armory
517 Jefferson St. N.
Opens Nov. 18