Minnesota announces new Midway COVID-19 community testing site

By Patti Cullen, CAE  |  May 20, 2022  |  All members

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) opened 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 was the last day of testing at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in downtown Saint Paul, and May 13 was 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 11:00 AM–4:00 PM and Mondays–Fridays 11:00 AM–6:00 PM.

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: https://mn.gov/covid19/ for a list of operating hours and addresses for the state’s entire community testing network, and to make an appointment. In addition to the Midway site, Minnesotans have access to a multitude of low-barrier COVID-19 testing options at healthcare 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 here
  • Through the federal government, Minnesotans can order free rapid at-home tests here  
  • 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 & 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 healthcare provider to learn if you qualify for COVID-19 treatment and where to get it. Learn more about COVID-19 medication here

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 US Department of Health & Human Services Test to Treat site. Minnesotans can find up-to-date guidance on when to get tested on the “COVID-19 Testing” page on the MDH website. 

Patti Cullen, CAE
Patti Cullen, CAE  |  President/CEO  |   pcullen@careproviders.org  |  952-851-2487