Coronavirus: Minnesota opening its 7th saliva testing location in St. Paul

The tests are free and open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms.
Author:
Publish date:
covid saliva test

The state of Minnesota is opening a seventh saliva COVID-19 testing location on Friday. 

The site, which will offer free testing to anyone who wants it, will be at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, marking the first saliva testing location to open in the Twin Cities.

“Minnesota is seeing an alarming jump in COVID-19 cases and neighboring states are seeing even worse,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “The good news is that Minnesotans have it in their power to make things better if everyone does their part. 

"Testing is a key part of our strategy, and we’ve made great progress in removing obstacles to testing thanks to strong partnerships across the state," Malcolm added. "When combined with social distancing, masking, avoiding crowds and staying home when sick, testing helps us slow the spread of COVID-19 and move us closer to the day when we have safe and effective vaccines.”

The testing site in St. Paul is at 175 Kellogg Blvd. and will be open seven days a week from noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Appointments can be made via the Vault Health registration site here.

Limited free parking will be available for the testing site on the roof of the St. Paul RiverCentre ramp, with metered parking available in Rice Park. 

“The Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul offers access to thousands of people across the east metro, as well as to those in the Twin Cities,” said Dan Huff, MDH assistant commissioner for health protection. “Our COVID-19 numbers are moving in the wrong direction, but we still have a chance to turn the tide here in Minnesota if everyone does their part; we hope this increased access to testing will help people learn if they are positive for COVID-19 and to isolate when necessary.”

The state of Minnesota opened its first saliva testing location in Duluth in late September, and has since opened locations in Winona, Moorhead, Brooklyn Park, Mankato and St. Cloud. MDH plans to open at least three more testing sites in the Twin Cities metro in the coming weeks.

Testing is free to everyone regardless if you have insurance. If you do have insurance, you may be asked to present your insurance card, but if you don't you'll be allowed to test anyway. The state is paying for it all. 

How the test works

When you get to your testing appointment, you will self-administer the test by spitting into a funnel attached to a small tube. Staff on-site will monitor the collection process to make sure there's enough saliva to be tested.

MDH says you shouldn't eat, drink, chew or smoke anything for at least 30 minutes prior to taking the test.

Saliva tests have the same effectiveness as the traditional nasal swab COVID-19 test, but they're more comfortable to take, MDH notes.

The tests will be processed at the state's new saliva lab in Oakdale, with results emailed within 24-48 hours, MDH says. The new lab opened this week, and it will have the capability to process up to 30,000 samples a day when at full capacity.

More information on the state's COVID-19 community saliva testing program, as well as how to make an appointment at every location, is available here. MDH also has resources to find other testing locations here.

Next Up

coronavirus

Nov. 30 COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations reach new high mark

There are fewer than 100 staffed ICU beds available in Minnesota.

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers-Northwestern game canceled

Minnesota is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in its football program.

frances mosley vandals

Minneapolis woman's home vandalized for a 7th time since March

The most recent incident happened on Thanksgiving.

Grand Cafe

Jamie Malone's Grand Cafe is closing, building owners say

Head chef Jamie Malone will continue operations at Eastside.

softball

High school softball coach accused of stealing booster funds

The 65-year-old is a coach at Lakeville South High School.

police lights

Suspect leads police on 26-mile pursuit in Meeker County

When the suspect stopped, he tried to get out of his car with a shotgun in hand.

Screen Shot 2020-11-30 at 7.41.02 AM

Human remains found at Albert Lea building where 3 people where shot

Authorities say the human remains are not related to the shooting.

DirecTV

DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.

Related

covid-19 testing site sign

Minnesota's 5th saliva testing site opening in Mankato on Friday

The state's free saliva testing program is part of its strategy to help control COVID-19.

covid saliva test

St. Cloud gets Minnesota's 6th COVID-19 saliva testing site

Four more sites are expected to open in the Twin Cities in the coming weeks.

covid saliva test

Mail order COVID-19 saliva testing now available statewide

MDH has also announced the opening of 11 more COVID-19 testing sites.

covid-19 testing site sign

Here are the 4 free COVID-19 testing sites in MN for the week of Nov. 2

People don't need to have symptoms or insurance to get tested for free.

covid-19 testing site sign

When should you get a COVID-19 test? Minnesota updates its recommendations

The hope is the new recommendations will help people determine if they need to get tested and what test is best for them.