More than 400 Minnesota National Guard guardsmen and airmen have been activated to help staff numerous testing sites that have opened around the state, in addition to providing relief to long-term care facilities who are understaffed and dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.
"The Guardsmen will be focused on three specific areas – supporting nasal swab community testing sites, supporting saliva community testing sites and providing staffing support to long-term care facilities," a release from the National Guard said.
Last week, Gov. Tim Walz announced a massive testing expansion that would result in 11 locations around the state serving as COVID-19 testing locations. The 11 semi-permanent testing locations will operate through the end of the year, including 10 located at armories that will be staffed by the National Guard.
You can find the armories at the addresses below:
- Albert Lea: 410 Prospect Ave, Albert Lea, MN 56007
- Anoka: 408 E Main St, Anoka, MN 55303
- Crookston: 1801 University Ave, Crookston, MN 56716
- Fairmont: 700 N Fairlakes Ave, Fairmont, MN 56031
- Hibbing: 2310 Brooklyn Dr, Hibbing, MN 55746
- Hutchinson: 1200 Adams St SE, Hutchinson, MN 55350
- Inver Grove Heights: 8076 Babcock Trail, Inver Grove Heights, MN 55077
- Morris: 722 Iowa Ave, Morris, MN 56267
- Stillwater: 350 Maryknoll Dr N, Stillwater, MN 55082
- Wadena: 517 Jefferson St N, Wadena, MN 56482
The Guard is also assisting at a saliva testing site at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. People are advised to go to Terminal 1, with testing located on Level 2 of the Blue Ramp. It is open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
According to the National Guard, more than 200 soldiers and airmen have already been activated to support the testing initiative, and that number will grow to more than 400 by the end of the week.