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High demand leads to some shipping delays for home COVID tests

Minnesotans have ordered more than 130,000 tests since Nov. 12.

Minnesota's at-home saliva testing kits have been a popular option to get tested for COVID-19, which has caused some delays in people receiving their kits. 

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) made its COVID-19 test-at-home program available statewide on Nov. 12, and since then Minnesotans have ordered more than 130,000 tests, MDH told Bring Me The News. 

This has caused some shipping delays, so it is taking longer than what is promised for some people to receive the test kit they ordered. 

"Our team is working closely with UPS and other delivery partners to get all tests to those who ordered them and ask for patience as delivery catches up with the overwhelming demand," MDH said.

In an effort to help manage the demand, MDH says it's temporarily capping the number of daily tests available at 12,500 until delivery catches up with demand. 

Meanwhile, health officials are asking that people not hold onto their tests, but instead take them and send the sample back right away. 

That's because the sooner you take the test, the sooner you can take steps to prevent spreading COVID-19 to others. There's no reason to save the test for later – if you want or need to get tested again, you can simply order another one for free.

How does the test work? 

The no-cost testing kits are being offered to Minnesotans via Vault Medical Services (you can order a free test here).

Log onto the website and order your test. It'll be shipped via expedited delivery (orders placed after 2 p.m. Thursday through Sunday will ship first thing Monday morning, Vault notes).

When you get your test kit, log into the virtual waiting room to take the test via a Zoom call. And then ship the test back via the prepaid UPS package as soon as possible. 

Your results will be sent to you via email within 24-48 hours after the lab in Oakdale receives the sample, Vault says.

Minnesota also has other free COVID-19 testing options, including in-person locations throughout the state. You can find them here

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