A new COVID-19 community testing site has been announced by the Minnesota Department of Health, while three existing ones will close by this weekend.
The new site is located in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul, where the former Herbergers store used to be, at 1400 University Avenue West. The site will be open starting Monday, offering antigen testing Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Mondays through Fridays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The three sites that are closing, the Stillwater Armory, Hutchinson Armory, and Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown St. Paul, are being shuttered due to "the state's ongoing work to adjust testing resources to meet demand and need."
The testing site in downtown St. Paul will be closed after Thursday, while the Stillwater and Hutchinson locations will close after Friday.
According to MDH, the new site will bring "even greater consistency to Minnesotans who want to access testing as it will not be subject to the occasional closures that took place to accommodate events at the auditorium and armory."
“Testing remains an important tool for protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said in a statement Wednesday.
"As this latest announcement shows, we are continuing to work with community partners to adapt the testing resources to fit the needs and preferences of Minnesotans.”
The new Midway location will be able to conduct up to 5,000 tests a day, MDH says. Walk-ins are welcome, but MDH encourages making an appointment.
Positive cases in the state have steadily inclined since late March, according to MDH data. Since April 18, the state has averaged about 1,230 positive cases per day. Wednesday's latest COVID-19 report for the state revealed 1,794 newly reported cases.
In addition to the new testing site, Minnesotans still have access to COVID-19 testing options offered at health care providers, pharmacies and other locations, as well as free rapid at-home testing offered by federal and state governments and health insurers.