Le Sueur, Mower counties part of COVID home saliva testing pilot program

(Mankato, MN) – Le Sueur and Mower counties are among two dozen in the state tapped for a pilot program that allows residents to perform a COVID-19 test from home.

The Minnesota Department of Health announced the program on Thursday for select areas.

Minnesotans living in the qualifying counties can order a saliva test online, free of charge.  The program will soon be available to all Minnesotans, according to a press release from MDH.

The counties were selected for the initial pilot because of geographical diversity.  Locations without saliva testing locations were also prioritized.

There are currently four saliva COVID testing locations open in the state, with a fifth scheduled to open in Mankato on Friday.

Here is how the mail-order program will work:

Minnesotans will order a saliva test online to be shipped to their home.  They’ll perform the test by spitting in a small tube, under the supervision of a healthcare professional through a video telehealth visit.  Completed tests are shipped to the state’s new saliva lab in Oakdale, where results are then emailed to the person in 24 to 49 hours.

Testing is free to all Minnesotans who believe they need a COVID-19 test, including those who are asymptomatic.  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 insurance does not cover the entire cost, the difference will be covered by the state, according to MDH.

More about: