COVID-19 Testing - Minnesota Dept. of Health
As we learn more about COVID-19, recommendations and guidance are updated frequently. Please check back often.

COVID-19 Testing

On this page:
Testing options
Who should get tested
Who does not need to get tested
Waiting for your test results
Test types and data

Testing options

There are several COVID-19 testing options available, including community and at-home testing. Many COVID-19 tests are free, but a health care provider may charge for their time.

Find Testing Locations
Find options for community saliva testing, as well as clinic or hospital locations. For more information about testing options, including low- and no-cost testing, visit Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Testing.

Who should get tested

As you review the list below, you will see references to people who are fully vaccinated. You are fully vaccinated if it has been two or more weeks since you received your last dose of vaccine. If it has not been at least two weeks since you received one dose in a one-dose series or the second dose in a two-dose series, you are not yet fully vaccinated.

These people should get tested for COVID-19:

Expand All    Contract All

Even if:

  • You have had COVID-19 before. If you have had COVID-19 in the prior three months, you are far less likely to become infected, but it is possible.
  • You are fully vaccinated. If you have been fully vaccinated you are far less likely to become infected, but it is possible.

If you leave your home to get a test, wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from other people.

  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you should get tested immediately and, if negative, three to five days after the last time you were close to a person with COVID-19.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, you should get tested three to five days after you were close to a person with COVID-19.
  • Whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, if you start to have any symptoms, get tested again.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past three months and do not feel sick, you do not need to get tested after close contact with a person with COVID-19.

Visit Close Contacts and Tracing for more information about what to do if you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, including quarantine.

You should also follow Recommendations for Wearing Masks.

Travel within the United States

  • If you are not fully vaccinated, CDC recommends getting tested one to three days prior to domestic travel, and three to five days after returning home.
  • Visit CDC: Domestic Travel During COVID-19 for more information on travel, including prevention guidance and when to quarantine.

International travel

  • If you are not fully vaccinated, CDC recommends that you do not travel internationally. However, if you do travel internationally, you should get tested one to three days prior to travel, and three to five days after you return home. Some international locations may also require vaccinated people to test. Check the requirements of your travel destination.
  • Everyone boarding a flight to the United States must have a negative COVID-19 test within three days of the flight or documentation of COVID-19 in the prior three months.
  • Even if you are fully vaccinated, you should still get tested three to five days after you return home from international travel.

Health care workers are recommended to test after domestic and international travel and after a high-risk exposure, even if fully vaccinated, due to the vulnerable population they serve. People who work in a health care setting should refer to COVID-19 Recommendations for Health Care Workers (PDF).

An example of a high-risk event is a large gathering or event where people are not wearing masks and are not able to stay 6 feet apart.

  • Whether or not you are fully vaccinated, you should get tested three to five days after the high-risk event, especially if you may have come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
  • If you develop any symptoms, get tested right away.

This includes, but is not limited to, first responders, health care workers, child care providers, teachers, coaches, and retail staff.

  • Even if you do not have symptoms or you have not had close contact to someone known to have COVID-19, you should still get tested every two weeks (or based on your employer's guidance) if you are not fully vaccinated. People without symptoms can still spread COVID-19 to others.
  • All K-12 school educators and school staff who are not fully vaccinated and whose schools have returned to an in-person learning model should get tested regularly according to CDC guidance. Check to see if you are eligible to participate in testing during your school's testing program.
  • If ongoing health screening is a part of your job, ask your employer about how often you need to be tested for COVID-19.
  • School-age kids who are not fully vaccinated and participate in in-person learning, activities, or sports should get tested regularly according to CDC: Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.
    • CDC recommends schools in areas of moderate, substantial, or high transmission implement weekly testing for students. In areas of substantial transmission, twice-weekly testing is recommended for students involved in high-risk sports and activities. In areas of high transmission, CDC recommends schools cancel high-risk sports and activities.
    • Schools in areas of low transmission do not need to test students regularly. However, unvaccinated students involved in high-risk sports and activities should still get tested once a week.
    • Please check with your school district to see if they have testing requirements or if they are offering a school-based testing program.
  • College and trade-school students who are not fully vaccinated should get tested if they return to campus for classes.

These people may not respond as well to COVID-19 vaccines. They may be advised by their health care provider to test at certain intervals or after certain exposures.

Follow testing requests from health care providers or public health workers. Specific recommendations may be provided for cases and contacts associated with outbreaks or clusters.
COVID-19 Testing Recommendations grid COVID-19 Testing Recommendations (PDF)
Testing grid based on vaccination status.

Who does not need to get tested

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last three months and have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 do not need to get tested as long as they do not have symptoms. If they develop any symptoms, they should get tested.

Waiting for your test results

It can take several days for test results to come back. The place that did your testing will get the results to you.

Test types and data

Updated Thursday, 07-Oct-2021 09:36:42 CDT