COVID worker

A nurse prepares a COVID-19 test at a testing center. 

In this story:

  • With the support of the National Guard, state will launch rapid sites this week in Crookston, Hutchinson, and Stillwater to offer free rapid testing to Minnesotans
  • Additional rapid test sites in Inver Grover Heights, Wadena, Hibbing, and Albert Lea will launch next week
  • Existing community saliva testing sites in Moorhead, Saint Paul (Roy Wilkins), Brooklyn Park and Duluth will also offer rapid testing beginning this week

Today, Governor Tim Walz announced a further expansion of rapid testing availability at community sites across Minnesota.

This week the state is launching new COVID-19 community rapid testing sites in Stillwater, Crookston, and Hutchinson.

The site in Stillwater will open on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and the sites in Crookston and Hutchinson will open on Thursday, Oct. 21.

New rapid testing sites will also launch next week in Inver Grove Heights, Wadena, Hibbing, and Albert Lea to serve Minnesotans in the community.

The sites are being supported by the Minnesota National Guard.

The State will also begin offering rapid tests at existing community saliva testing locations in Moorhead and Saint Paul (Roy Wilkins) beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 20 and in Brooklyn Park and Duluth beginning Friday, Oct. 22. More details about rapid testing options at additional existing saliva sites will be available next week.

“Minnesotans are working hard to navigate daycare, school, and work — and they need the reassurance and ease of rapid testing to keep their lives on track,” Walz said. 

“That’s why we are expanding our testing offerings and launching new testing sites in the metro and Greater Minnesota to meet folks where they are. By helping Minnesotans get the speedy test results they need, we are taking action to make sure Minnesotans have access to rapid testing options at our free community testing network," Walz continued.

“Testing for COVID-19 helps keep our kids safe in the classroom and workers protected on the job,” Lieutenant Gov. Peggy Flanagan said. “Rapid testing is just what Minnesota parents need right now, and that’s why we are standing up new sites across Minnesota to get more free rapid tests to Minnesota families.”

"The Minnesota National Guard's motto is 'Always Ready, Always There' and demonstrates our commitment to support Minnesota citizens," Army Major General Shawn Manke, Minnesota National Guard's Adjutant General said. "We have supported public health activities since March 2020 with varying levels of personnel and activities and are prepared to do so, again." 

"On Wednesday, Governor Walz requested Minnesota National Guard support for community-based testing sites in the metro and outstate locations," Army Colonel Scott Rohweder, Minnesota National Guard's Director of Operations said. 

"The service members will be broken into seven teams assisting civil authorities at various sites with conducting testing facility management, performing administrative tasks, and administering COVID-19 tests," she continued

To help Minnesotans access free, quick testing resources in their communities, the Governor has activated the National Guard to help stand up these new community rapid testing sites.

These sites will allow Minnesotans experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to take an antigen test and receive results in a matter of hours.

In addition to the new state rapid testing sites and rapid options at existing state saliva sites, last week Walz announced additional COVID-19 rapid testing opportunities in partnership with local public health (LPH) agencies around the state.

Sixteen local public health agencies across the state are deploying rapid tests provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, some of which will be used at community testing clinics, while others will be used for targeted testing efforts.

Participating agencies will announce their testing plans and appointments processes.

The Walz-Flanagan administration has steadily expanded testing capacity throughout Minnesota to meet increasing demand for COVID-19 tests.

To tackle the Delta variant, the state has opened new community sites in Bloomington, Lino Lakes, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and Morris since August. The state has added weekend testing and doubled capacity at the Duluth community testing site.

Additionally, the state added Friday testing at the state sites in Mankato and St. Cloud, and Sunday testing at the Moorhead and Winona sites.

The state continues to assess current and projected testing needs and will work to execute its comprehensive approach to ensure every Minnesotan has access to free testing to keep their families and communities safe.

Testing is free at all of the state’s community testing sites.

Participants that have health insurance will be asked for their 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, ensuring testing remains open to all at no cost.

Testing at the state’s new rapid sites is recommended for symptomatic Minnesotans and is open to Minnesotans with or without insurance.

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

While walk-ins are welcome, people seeking testing at state sites can schedule a test as well. Rapid test results will be available within approximately 1-3 hours of processing.

The details of the new state rapid testing sites are below.

Crookston Rapid Testing Site

Opens Thursday, Oct. 21

Crookston Armory

1801 University Ave

Crookston, MN 56716

Thursday – Friday

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Hutchinson Rapid Testing Site

Opens Thursday, Oct. 21

Hutchinson Armory

1200 Adams St SE

Hutchinson, MN 55350

Thursday – Friday

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Stillwater Rapid Testing Site

Opens Wednesday, Oct. 20

Stillwater Armory

350 Maryknoll Dr N

Stillwater, MN 55082

Wednesday – Friday

11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Saturday

11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

*No Testing on Saturday, Dec. 4

 

Rapid testing sites opening the week of October 25:

  • Inver Grove Heights
  • Wadena
  • Hibbing
  • Albert Lea (Non-National Guard Location)

 

How Minnesotans can get a COVID-19 test:

 

How Minnesotans can get their free shot:

  • Walk in or make an appointment through the Vaccine Connector: VaccineConnector.mn.gov.
    Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline
    1-833-431-2053
    Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Use the state’s Vaccine Locator Map to find a vaccine provider near you: Find Vaccine Locations.
  • Check for vaccine appointments using the Vaccine Finder on Find a COVID-19 vaccine near you. You can search for appointments by vaccine type (e.g., Pfizer).
  • Contact your primary health care provider or a local pharmacy.
  • Employers may also reach out with information about vaccination opportunities.

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