New COVID-19 testing site to open in Carver County to combat UK variant

Monday, the Minnesota Department of Health announced a new temporary COVID-19 saliva testing site will open at the Chanhassen Recreation Center.

The announcement comes after MDH said last week that a rapidly growing outbreak of the variant strain first detected in the U.K. was found in Carver County.

Testing at the site will be open from Thursday, March 11 through Saturday, March 13, and again from March 18-20. Appointments are encouraged but aren’t required.

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"Testing is a key component of our strategy to protect Minnesotans from COVID-19," MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said. "Through a robust, collaborative statewide testing program, we have made great progress in removing obstacles to testing. The variants circulating now present added risk that we may see another surge in cases and we need everyone to do their part to prevent that from happening. When combined with social distancing, masking, avoiding crowds and staying home when sick, testing can help us slow the spread of COVID-19 while we work tirelessly to get as many Minnesotans as we can vaccinated."

MDH said at least 84 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to participants in both school-sponsored and club sports activities since late January. The department added that it has seen a 62% increase in cases in the area over the past month, with rates now approaching those seen in October and about 35% of them in people under age 20.

As with all community testing sites, the Chanhassen site will offer testing at no cost to participants, although health insurance information will be requested for billing purposes. However, insurance isn’t required.