State announces locations for no-barrier access to COVID-19 testing during week of Oct. 12

No-barrier testing is response to increased community spread statewide and is free and open to all, with or without symptoms

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is partnering with local public health officials and other community partners to offer access to free, no-barrier COVID-19 testing the week of Oct. 12 in Anoka, Faribault, Luverne, Alexandria, Aitkin, and St. Cloud.

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. The six events next week are part of an effort to increase access to “no-barrier” COVID-19 testing following increased levels of community spread statewide. The Minnesota National Guard will continue providing logistical support for a number of these events.

“As we continue to see spikes in the number of new cases and increased community spread, we urge people to seek out testing,” said Jan Malcolm, MDH Commissioner. “While large events get a lot of attention, we know that smaller, everyday gatherings are a significant source of transmission in our state. It only takes one contagious person to lead to an outbreak. Giving people a chance to get tested lets them know if they’re positive and need to isolate and notify their close contacts to quarantine - it’s a key strategy we have 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 haven’t 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, and Cloquet.

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.

Anyone who wants to be tested is encouraged to come, even if they don’t 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 seven 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.