New COVID-19 community testing sites will open this month in Bloomington and St. Paul to help slow the spread of the Delta variant, the Minnesota Department of Health announced Thursday.
Each of the state's semi-permanent testing sites offer free saliva testing to all Minnesotans.
The Bloomington site, to be located at 9930 Logan Ave. S, opens Monday, Aug. 30. Tests will be offered Monday through Friday each week from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.
State health officials also announced the re-opening of the St. Paul testing site in the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, adjacent to the Saint Paul RiverCentre, at 175 West Kellogg Blvd.
Testing at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium will be offered each Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. beginning Tuesday, Aug. 31.
Those who arrive for a test should avoid eating, drinking, chewing, or smoking anything for at least 30 minutes before providing a sample. Once they arrive at a testing location, they will self-administer the test by salivating into a funnel attached to a small tube. Site staff will be available on-site to monitor the collection process.
The community testing sites offer self-administered saliva tests.
Those seeking a test are instructed to avoid eating, drinking, chewing or smoking anything for at least 30 minutes before administering the test.
Saliva tests collected at the state's community testing sites are processed at the saliva lab in Oakdale. Results are typically provided via email within 48-72 hours.
Walk-ins are welcome at the testing sites or appointments can be scheduled through Vault Health, according to the state.
“Through a robust, collaborative testing program, we have removed many obstacles to testing for communities across the state," Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said in a press release. "Combined with social distancing, masking, and staying home when sick, testing can help us slow the spread of the Delta variant as we continue to get as many folks vaccinated as possible.”
In addition to the newly-announced locations, semi-permanent COVID-19 community testing sites are offered elsewhere in the metro in Brooklyn Park and the MSP Airport.
Details on testing locations can be found online at mn.gov/covid19/get-tested.