May 11, 2022
New site will consolidate two metro sites while ensuring testing needs and demands are met
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is opening a new COVID-19 community testing location in the Midway neighborhood of Saint Paul and closing two existing testing sites as part of the state’s ongoing work to adjust testing resources to meet demand and need.
May 12 will be the last day of testing at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown Saint Paul, and May 13 will be the last day of testing at the Stillwater Armory.
The state’s new testing site, located in the former Herberger’s at 1400 University Avenue West in Saint Paul, will open on Monday, May 16 and offer rapid antigen testing Sundays 11 a.m.-4 p.m. and Mondays through Fridays 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
This 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.
Visit mn.gov/covid19 for a list of operating hours and addresses for the state’s entire community testing network, and to make an appointment.
“Testing remains an important tool for protecting ourselves and others from COVID-19,” Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said. “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 testing location will be able to conduct up to 5,000 tests per day. The site is located near multiple transit options and has ample parking for visitors. Translation services and accessibility accommodations will be available on-site. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged.
In addition to the Midway site, Minnesotans have access to a multitude of low-barrier COVID-19 testing options at health care providers, pharmacies, and other locations, as well as free at-home rapid testing offered by the federal and state governments and health insurers.
How to get a test
The state has worked hard to ensure Minnesotans can access COVID-19 testing in a variety of ways.
Minnesotans can order two sets of two rapid tests through the state at Order your free at-home rapid tests. Through the federal government, Minnesotans can order free rapid at-home tests at CovidTests.gov. Food banks, local public health agencies, community groups and other community health organizations may also have free tests available.
Anyone can walk in or schedule an appointment for a test at one of the state’s free COVID-19 Community Testing sites or find a testing option near them through the state’s Find Testing Locations map.
Costs for over-the-counter, at-home COVID-19 tests are now required to be covered by health plans offered by Medicare, insurance companies, employers and groups as a result of actions taken by the Biden Administration. In some circumstances, Minnesotans can receive free tests by showing their insurance card at a store. People should check with their health plan prior to purchasing at-home tests to ensure they are following the necessary steps to have costs covered.
Testing and COVID-19 medications
If you are high risk and develop symptoms that could be COVID-19, get tested right away. Prescription medication is available to help prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death. Talk to a health care provider to learn if you qualify for COVID-19 treatment and where to get it. Learn more about COVID-19 medication at COVID-19 Treatments.
Dozens of Minnesota pharmacies and federally qualified health centers are participating in the federal Test to Treat program. There, you can take a COVID-19 test and, if positive, be assessed by a provider on-site. If you are eligible for treatment, you can receive and fill a prescription for pills at the same time. The federal government has a Test to Treat locator to help find participating sites. Some of these sites require appointments. Learn more at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Test to Treat site.
When to get tested
Testing continues to be important for preventing the spread of the virus.
To keep COVID-19 from spreading, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends people should test if:
- They have symptoms of the virus.
- They have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
- They are returning from international or domestic travel.
- They attended a high-risk event.
- They work in a setting that has regular, close contact with many people.
Minnesotans can find up-to-date guidance on when to get tested on the MDH COVID-19 Testing page.
COVID-19 Public Hotline:
For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call 1-833-431-2053, Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Mental Health Crisis Line – Call: **CRISIS (**274747)