Skip to main content

The COVID-19 testing site at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center will double its capacity next week amid an increased demand for tests.

According to a Friday announcement from Gov. Tim Walz, the state’s testing site at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center will expand from 5,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet starting on Monday.

The increase in space means the site can administer 1,000 tests per day compared to its current capacity of 500 tests. The site will also change its days of operation from Monday through Tuesday to Tuesday through Saturday to accommodate weekend testing.

“Testing is still one of the best tools we have in our fight against COVID-19, and we’re doing whatever we can to ensure every Minnesotan has access to it,” Walz said in a statement.

“Getting tested at the DECC is easy, low-barrier, and no cost to you. Minnesotans in and around Duluth looking for a test have a great option right in their backyard.”

Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm cited the start of classes and seasonal changes for the increased testing demand.

“With school back in session and activities moving indoors as the seasons change, testing remains an important tool for protecting our families and communities from COVID-19,” Malcolm said in a statement.

“By expanding our robust, collaborative testing program, we have removed testing obstacles for families across the state.”

In September, St. Louis County saw 2,117 reported cases of COVID-19, the highest since December, according to the county’s department of health.

But with a vaccine now available, COVID-19 deaths are down in St. Louis County compared to last winter, with 7 deaths in September compared to 97 confirmed deaths in December.

The rise in cases is also straining the state’s ICU bed capacity, with 53 of the total 1,161 available Wednesday, according to the Star Tribune. There were five open beds in northern Minnesota. 

Next Up


3rd federal medical team to join COVID-19 fight in Minnesota

There are more than 1,500 people with COVID-19 admitted to Minnesota hospitals.

hospital, emergency room

Driver killed after other motorist crosses into opposite lane

The head-on crash occurred early Thursday, just north of the Twin Cities.

shot clock

MSHSL approves shot clock for Minnesota varsity basketball

Shot clocks will be required at all varsity games beginning in 2023-24.

Redmons Popcorn Colbert screengrab

Popcorn shop featured on 'The Late Show' has to close 2 days later

A county inspection after the national TV appearance found code violations.

covid, vaccine

Minnesotan infected with omicron was vaccinated, had booster shot

The Hennepin County man received his booster shot in early November.

Timothy William Tuit

2 people plead guilty in fatal Dakota County home invasion

Two others charged in the incident will go to trial next year.

south lake minnetonka police department

25-year-old arrested after multi-city police chase in western suburbs

Police were called for a welfare check but learned it was a domestic violence incident.

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 8.34.54 AM

After getting COVID, Harrison Smith still not considering vaccine

The Vikings safety says he doesn't plan on getting vaccinated.


covid saliva test

Minnesota expanding COVID-19 testing capacity as demand rises

The demand for testing was up 10% last week compared to the week prior.

coronavirus, COVID-19 test

Residents in Ely urged to get tested, quarantine due to COVID-19 outbreak

The northern Minnesota community has seen a "significant" increase in COVID-19 cases.

coronavirus, covid-19, drive-thru testing

Here are the 6 latest locations for free COVID-19 testing in Minnesota next week

MDH is conducting the testing amid increased community spread in Minnesota.

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

Minnesota to offer free COVID rapid testing at 9 more sites

Three new rapid testing sites opened in Minnesota this week.