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Minnesota's new COVID testing sites start opening Friday

The locations in Anoka and Cottage Grove will operate Thursdays through Mondays.

An effort to increase Minnesota's testing capacity begins Friday with the opening of a new COVID community testing site in Anoka. 

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday the locations of two new Twin Cities COVID-19 testing sites as rising demand for tests puts pressure on current resources.

Earlier this week, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced three new community testing locations in Anoka, Cottage Grove and North Branch as rising demand for tests puts pressure on current resources. 

And on Thursday, he revealed the locations of the Anoka and Cottage Grove sites, which will open Friday and next Thursday, respectively. 

The previously announced North Branch location, at the former Nike Outlet store at 38500 Tanger Drive, will open Monday.

Walz shared the Anoka location is at 408 E Main St. and it opened Friday, with the ability to accommodate around 800 people per day. This site is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It will then operate Thursdays-Mondays beginning next week. 

The location in Cottage Grove, which will be at 8180 Belden Blvd., will open on Thursday. It will also operate Thursdays through Mondays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

This site can accommodate around 1,000 people per day.

Testing in St. Paul will also ramp up, Walz said. Starting on Friday, the community testing site at Roy Wilkins Auditorium will increase its capacity from 2,000 daily tests to 3,000 daily tests with support from the National Guard. 

Demand for testing in the metro area has surged in recent weeks as a return to work and school after the holidays has necessitated tests for many people.

“Minnesotans deserve access to COVID-19 testing. As we confront the highly contagious Omicron variant, we’re working to make sure testing is as accessible as possible,” Walz said in a statement.

“Getting tested is a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19.”

Most community testing sites offer walk-in testing and appointments. To make an appointment or find other testing locations, click here

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