State to open saliva testing site in Worthington on Thursday
Site will offer saliva testing to everyone, with or without insurance
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Wednesday that it will open a saliva testing site on Thursday in Worthington.
The site will bring the total number of community testing sites to 22 across the state, offering barrier-free COVID-19 tests to anyone who believes they need to be tested.
“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.”
Testing will be at the Worthington Event Center, located at 1477 Prairie Drive. It will be open Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are highly recommended and can be made through the Vault Health registration site , although walk-ins are always welcome.
Testing is available to anyone who believes they need a COVID-19 test, with or without insurance. Participants will be asked for their health insurance information so the state can bill their insurance company on their behalf. If a person is uninsured or for any reason insurance does not cover some or all of the cost, the state will cover the difference, so testing remains available at no cost to everyone. State guidance on who should get tested was recently updated and can be found on the Minnesota COVID-19 Response webpage, Who should get tested? .
“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 state opened the first saliva testing site in Duluth on Sept. 23. Since then, saliva testing locations have opened in Anoka, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Burnsville, Inver Grove Heights, the Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport, Mankato, Minneapolis, Moorhead, St. Cloud, St. Paul, Stillwater, and Winona. Some sites are operated in partnership with Vault Medical Services, while others are operated with support from the Minnesota National Guard. Results are typically available within 24 to 48 hours.
“We feel very fortunate that the saliva testing process is coming to Nobles County," said Michelle Ebbers, Community Health Services Administrator, Nobles County. "This will be very instrumental in making sure individuals are able to receive prompt testing and results, which in turn will assist to reduce the spread of the virus, keep students in school, allow businesses to reopen, and keep residents safe and healthy,”
The saliva test has the same effectiveness rate as the traditional nasal swab and is less invasive. Those who come for a test should avoid eating, drinking, chewing or smoking anything for at least 30 minutes before providing a sample. Once they arrive at the site, they will self-administer the test by spitting into a funnel attached to a small tube. Clinic staff will be available on-site to monitor the collection process and ensure there is enough saliva to be tested.
“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. Growing and diversifying our testing options is a tool to keeping Minnesotans safe.”
For more information about the saliva testing site in Worthington and to view all community testing sites across the state, visit COVID-19 Community Testing Sites .