The state of Minnesota is opening another COVID-19 saliva testing location, this time in southwest Minnesota.
The site, at the Worthington Event Center, 1477 Prairie Drive, in Worthington opens on Thursday. Testing will be available for everyone, regardless of if they have insurance.
“Testing is a key component of our strategy to protect Minnesotans from COVID-19,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “Through a robust, collaborative statewide testing program, we have made great progress in removing obstacles to testing and this expansion in Greater Minnesota will help the state remain a national leader in testing. When combined with social distancing, masking, avoiding crowds, and staying home when sick, testing can help us slow the spread of COVID-19 and bridge to the better days we know are coming.”
It is the 22nd no-barriers community testing site to open in Minnesota.
“Worthington is home to a vibrant economy that makes great contributions in agriculture, technology and manufacturing,” said Dan Huff, MDH assistant commissioner for health protection. “This site is a big step forward in expanding access to testing in southwest Minnesota.”
The Worthington testing location will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, as well as from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Appointments at the Worthington location, and the other community testing sites, are highly recommend and can be made through the Vault Health registration site here.
That being said, walk-ins are welcome at all community testing locations.
“Our strategy to managing the virus continues to be proactive, data-driven, and aggressive,” Huff said. “A higher testing capacity, combined with masking, social distancing, and isolation when appropriate, is critical to that strategy.
"Our work to bring saliva testing to Minnesotans is an important element of a community testing strategy that has allowed the state to conduct more than half a million COVID-19 tests in all corners of the state," Huff added. "Growing and diversifying our testing options is a tool to keeping Minnesotans safe.”
How the test works
When you get to your testing appointment, you will self-administer the test by spitting into a funnel attached to a small tube. Staff on-site will monitor the collection process to make sure there's enough saliva to be tested.
MDH says you shouldn't eat, drink, chew or smoke anything for at least 30 minutes prior to taking the test.
Saliva tests have the same effectiveness as the traditional nasal swab COVID-19 test, but they're more comfortable to take, MDH notes.
The tests will be processed at the state's lab in Oakdale, with results emailed within 24-48 hours, MDH says. The lab will have the capability to process up to 30,000 samples a day when at full capacity.
More information on the state's COVID-19 community saliva testing program, as well as how to make an appointment at every location, is available here. MDH also has resources to find other testing locations here.