News release: State to continue statewide testing push into week of Oct. 19

News Release
October 15, 2020

State to continue statewide testing push into week of Oct. 19

After four weeks of no-barrier testing, around 25,000 tests done in 21 counties

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is announcing the continuation of a statewide push to increase access to “no-barrier” COVID-19 testing with a fifth week of testing locations. MDH is partnering with local public health officials and other community partners to offer testing the week of Oct. 19 in Montevideo, Monticello, Cambridge, and Crookston.

As always with no-barrier testing opportunities, this testing will be free, available to anyone who wants to be tested whether they have symptoms or not, and will not require insurance. Today ends month one of the testing push, aimed at increasing access to “no-barrier” COVID-19 testing following increased levels of community spread statewide. During those four weeks, the state conducted around 25,000 tests across 21 sites, in every corner of the state. The Minnesota National Guard will continue providing logistical support for a number of these events.

“The acceleration in cases and community spread is a reminder that it only takes one contagious person to lead to an outbreak,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “These trends are most troublesome in Greater Minnesota right now, as we see smaller, everyday gatherings and activities leading to infections in long-term care facilities, schools, sports teams, businesses, and more. We know everyone is looking for the right balance, of how to remain safe while taking care of their physical and mental health needs, and staying in touch with aging family members. Testing is one of the critical ways we can take action, to find out if we’re positive and isolate and quarantine when necessary, to fight the spread of this virus.”

Health officials are using testing data to identify communities that are experiencing workplace clusters, are close to bordering states, or have not yet had larger-scale testing offered. This strategy will help increase the geographic balance of testing across Minnesota and respond where the health risk is greatest. Testing opportunities have been provided in Grand Rapids, Pine City, Waseca, Bloomington, Maplewood, Moorhead, Marshall, Thief River Falls, Bemidji, St. Joseph, Willmar, Fairmont, Inver Grove Heights, Ely, Cloquet, Anoka, Faribault, Luverne, Alexandria, Aitkin, and St. Cloud.

Testing will be done with a nasal swab, processed either by Mayo Clinic Laboratories or the University of Minnesota, through the lab capacity created by the testing partnership. These community testing sites are in addition to the new semi-permanent saliva testing sites now available to Minnesotans. Saliva testing sites are open in Duluth and Winona, with one opening in Moorhead on Saturday and one in Brooklyn Park on Oct. 20. Both nasal and saliva testing are PCR tests, not to be confused with antigen testing.

Anyone who wants to be tested is encouraged to come, even if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19. No insurance or identification is needed. To avoid long lines, people are encouraged to pre-register for a time slot. The details and pre-registration links for all four events next week are listed below. Those who are unable to sign up online or need interpretation can call 1-855-612-0677 for assistance.

Tuesday, Oct. 20; Wednesday, Oct. 21; Thursday, Oct. 22
12 to 6 p.m.
Montevideo Community Center
550 1st Street South
Montevideo, MN  56265
Montevideo Community COVID-19 Testing: Schedule Appointment

Tuesday, Oct. 20; Wednesday, Oct. 21; Thursday, Oct. 22
12 to 6 p.m.
Great River Soccer Club (Indoor Facility)
101 Chelsea Rd.
Monticello, MN 55362
Monticello Community COVID-19 Testing: Schedule Appointment

Wednesday, Oct. 21; Thursday, Oct. 22
12 to 6 p.m.
Armed Forces Reserve and Community Center
505 Spirit River Drive South
Cambridge, MN 55008
Cambridge Community COVID-19 Testing: Schedule Appointment

Tuesday, Oct. 20; Wednesday, Oct. 21; Thursday, Oct. 22
12 to 6 p.m.
Crookston Sports Center
801 Fisher Ave
Crookston, MN 56716
Crookston Community COVID-19 Testing: Schedule Appointment

For more information and to register for an appointment, visit the COVID-19 Community Testing webpage.


Minnesota Helpline:

For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504.

Mental Health Crisis Line - Call: **CRISIS (**274747)