News release: MDH expands community COVID-19 rapid test distribution program

News Release
Feb. 17, 2022

MDH expands community COVID-19 rapid test distribution program

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is expanding its successful program to provide Minnesotans with free COVID-19 at-home rapid testing through community-based organizations around the state.

This week, MDH is providing 347,000 rapid antigen test kits to local public health agencies, tribal health, food shelves, and MDH COVID-19 Community Coordinators (CCCs) to provide for free to the communities they serve throughout February and March. Each kit contains two tests.

Providing free at-home rapid testing through local public health and community groups will help reduce barriers and expand testing access for Minnesotans who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. This week’s disbursement comes after an initial distribution of 150,000 test kits to community groups in January. Groups receiving tests will communicate to their communities about how to pick them up.

“Rapid testing is a key tool Minnesotans can use to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19 to their families and their communities. Even as transmission rates go down, it’s important that Minnesotans use resources like rapid testing if they feel sick,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “By partnering with community groups and local health agencies, we’re making it easier for vulnerable Minnesotans to get the resources they need to continue staying safe and preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Expanding access to rapid testing has been a key component of the Walz-Flanagan Administration’s COVID-19 response strategy.

In addition to this community partnership, Minnesota has secured 3.6 million rapid tests for schools to provide to students, staff and teachers to monitor symptoms at home and stay safe in the classroom. The state has also secured 550,000 rapid tests to distribute through child care facilities.

Minnesota also offers free rapid testing at many of the state’s two dozen COVID-19 community testing sites.

More information on the at-home testing distribution partnership is available at Take-home Rapid Test Distribution Program.

How Minnesotans can get a COVID-19 test:

How Minnesotans can get their free shot:

  • Use the state’s Vaccine Locator Map to find vaccine providers near you.
  • Check for vaccine appointments at Vaccines.gov, where you can search for appointments by vaccine type (e.g., Pfizer).
  • Contact your or your child’s primary health care provider or a local pharmacy.
  • Walk in to or make an appointment at one of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination sites.
  • Watch for vaccination clinics being offered at schools or other community locations around Minnesota. 

Questions about COVID-19:

  • 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.

-MDH-


COVID-19 Public Hotline:
For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call 1-833-431-2053, Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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