FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2021
Governor Walz Announces New COVID-19 Testing Site in Morris
State site will offer free saliva testing to Minnesotans
[ST. PAUL, MN] – Today, Governor Tim Walz announced that the state is launching a new COVID-19 community testing site in Morris.
“With the addition of this new site, Minnesotans in and around Morris now have another safe, free, and easy testing option,” said Governor Walz. “Testing for COVID-19 helps keep our children safe in the classroom and workers protected on the job. Through the at-home testing program and community sites in cities around the state, Minnesotans have more opportunities to choose the option that is best for their families.”
“As the mom of a third-grader, I’m personally grateful for Minnesota’s community testing sites and at-home test program,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “The state continues to expand the variety of options available to all Minnesotans. I encourage all families, including those with kids who are too young to be vaccinated, to take advantage of these free testing services, including at this site in Morris.”
The Morris site will be at the Morris Armory, located at 722 Iowa Ave. Testing at the Morris site will occur Monday – Friday, from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., beginning Tuesday, October 19. The site will have the capacity to conduct 500 tests per day.
“With school in full swing and more activities moving inside due to colder weather, testing remains vital to protecting our children and families from COVID-19,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “By expanding our robust, collaborative testing program, we have removed testing obstacles for families across the state. In addition to getting vaccinated, social distancing, masking indoors, and staying home when sick, we know testing can help us slow the spread of the COVID-19 and limit its negative impacts in our communities.”
Demand for COVID-19 testing has increased throughout Minnesota. To tackle the Delta variant head on, the state has steadily expanded its testing capacity, first by opening four new community sites in Bloomington, Lino Lakes, Minneapolis and Saint Paul in August and September. Last week, the state added a weekend testing day and doubled capacity at the Duluth community testing site to approximately 1,000 tests per day. That same week, the state also announced that, beginning October 15, Friday testing will be offered at the state sites in Mankato and St. Cloud, and, beginning October 17, Sunday testing will be offered at the Moorhead and Winona sites.
As it constantly is doing, the state is reassessing current and projected testing needs and will continue to execute its comprehensive approach to ensure every Minnesotan has access to free testing to keep their families and communities safe.
Locations and hours of all the state’s community testing sites can be found here.
Testing is open to Minnesotans who believe they need a COVID-19 test, with or without insurance. Testing is free at all of the state’s community testing sites. Participants that have health insurance will be asked for their insurance information so the state can bill their insurance company on their behalf. If a person is uninsured or if insurance does not cover some or all of the cost, the state will cover the difference, so testing remains no cost to all.
State guidance on who should get tested can be found on the COVID-19 Testing webpage.
Those who arrive for a test should avoid eating, drinking, chewing, or smoking anything for at least 30 minutes before being tested. Once they arrive at a testing location, they will self-administer the test by salivating into a funnel attached to a small tube. Site staff will be available on-site to monitor the collection process.
While walk-ins are welcome, people seeking testing at state sites can still schedule an appointment. Tests will be processed in Minnesota at the saliva lab in Oakdale. Results will be provided via email in approximately 24-28 hours after the lab receives the testing sample. Accessibility accommodations are offered at the state’s community sites. To request an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), spoken language, American Sign Language and/or other accommodation, Minnesotans are encouraged to call the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline, 1-833-431-2053, between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday. Translative services are also available on-site. Patients are encouraged to make requests two to three business days before their visit to ensure time to coordinate accommodations.
How Minnesotans can get a free COVID-19 test:
- Order a test through the state’s no-cost at-home COVID-19 testing program.
- Find a testing option near you through the state’s Find Testing Locations
- Walk-in or schedule an appointment for a test at one of the state’s no-cost community testing sites across Minnesota.
How Minnesotans can get their free shot:
- Walk in or make an appointment through the Vaccine Connector.
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline
- Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-7 p.m. and Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
- Use the state’s Vaccine Locator Map to find a vaccine provider near you.
- Check for vaccine appointments using the Vaccine Finder. You can search for appointments by vaccine type (e.g., Pfizer).
- Contact your primary health care provider or a local pharmacy.
- Employers may also reach out with information about vaccination opportunities.