At-home COVID-19 saliva tests to be made available in 24 Minnesota counties

The Minnesota Department of Health is launching it as a pilot project before expanding it statewide.
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The Minnesota Department of Health has announced the launch of its pilot program that will allow residents to take COVID-19 saliva tests in their own homes, and mail in their samples for processing.

The state has said that saliva tests will be made available free of charge to residents in 24 counties initially, with the intention of it being rolled out statewide.

Through the state's saliva testing program – which could eventually see 30,000 tests a day processed – individuals can perform the test by spitting into a small tube while being observed by a healthcare professional during a telehealth visit. They then ship the sample to the state's new processing lab in Oakdale, with the results emailed to patients within 24-48 hours.

For the pilot program, MDH has selected counties that aren't close to the state's walk-up saliva testing facilities (in Moorhead, Mankato, Duluth, Brooklyn Park and Winona) or where community testing access has been limited.

Here are the counties where the mail order, test-at-home program will initially be available:

  • Rock County
  • Kittson County
  • Le Sueur County
  • Beltrami County
  • Red Lake Nation
  • Wilkin County
  • Carver County
  • Nobles County
  • Wright County
  • Dakota County
  • Mower County
  • Becker County
  • Kandiyohi County
  • Crow Wing County
  • Cook County
  • Aitkin County
  • Steele County
  • Itasca County
  • Douglas County
  • Lyon County
  • Pine County
  • Otter Tail County
  • Swift County
  • Pennington County

You can find out more information and order a test at COVID-19 Test at Home.

“Minnesota’s testing strategy includes having multiple options for people seeking out testing,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm.

"Having more options helps to remove barriers, ensuring all Minnesotans have access to quick and reliable testing. The continued increase in COVID-19 cases across greater Minnesota, tied to small, everyday gatherings, is very concerning. Testing is one way we slow the spread of COVID-19, and the mail-order program provides yet another method for Minnesotans to access testing."

While the tests are free to individuals, patients with health plans will still have to give their information so the state can bill insurance providers.

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