Saliva COVID testing location to open in Mankato

(St. Paul, MN) – A free testing COVID-19 saliva testing site will open Friday in the former Gander Mountain store in Mankato, state health officials announced Wednesday.

The Mankato testing location will be the fifth saliva testing facility in the state and will offer free tests to any Minnesotans who believe they need to be tested, says the Minnesota Department of Health.

“Testing is a key component of our strategy to protect Minnesotans from COVID-19,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm.

The new testing location, at 1940 Adams Street, will be open Friday through Tuesday, 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. The tests will be processed in Minnesota, at the new saliva lab in Oakdale.

Appointments can be made through an online registration site.

Testing is free to all Minnesotans, including those who are asymptomatic, but 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 if their insurance does not cover the cost of the testing, the state will cover the difference to keep it cost-free to everyone.

“Mankato is a regional hub, offering access to thousands of people who live and work in the area, as well as thousands of college students who live there,” said Dan Huff, MDH assistant commissioner for health protection.  “We know this site will increase access to testing among people who need it.”

Blue Earth County Board of Commissioners Chair Vance Stuehrenberg said the county was pleased to have the testing resources in the county. “This opportunity will increase access to testing, to help identify and isolate positive cases as early as possible, Stuehrenberg said in a statement. “Testing is one way we keep our family and friends safe.”


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