The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has launched the pilot of the Free COVID-19 Test at Home saliva testing program. You can now order a COVID-19 saliva test online that will be shipped to your home, along with a prepaid package to return it. Currently the pilot program is only available to residents in 24 Minnesota Counties, including Crow Wing County.

“This is another tool that not only will give quick and accurate results, but it offers a convenient method to test for COVID that will further reduce the risk of exposure.” said Public Health Supervisor Michelle Moritz. “I encourage anyone that has known contacts with positive cases to test and help slow the spread by isolating at home. Hopefully this test can keep our exposure rate from rising and help to keep our businesses open and our children in school.”

When you are ready to take the test, you will log onto a website and do a video visit with a health care provider so they can give you instructions and make sure you do the test the right way. You then send the test to the lab in Oakdale, Minnesota, using the prepaid package. Once it arrives at the lab, you will get your test results by email as soon as 24-48 hours.

The saliva test is just as accurate as the nasal swab test and is also used at in-person COVID-19 community saliva testing locations across the state.

• The saliva tests checks whether you have COVID-19 right now and can spread it to others. It is not an antibody test that looks for whether you have had COVID-19 in the past.

• Both adults and children can use these tests. An adult 18 or older must request a test for a child.

• You can request up to five tests per household through the website.

• Saliva testing may not be right for those with low saliva production, such as children under age 4 or someone who has suffered a stroke.

• Testing is free for every Minnesotan, whether or not you have insurance. If you do have insurance, you will need to provide your information so your insurance company can pay for your test. If your insurance does not pay for COVID-19 tests or does not pay enough, the state will cover the cost. If you do not have insurance, the state will pay for your test. You will not receive a bill.

• For more information and to order a test visit COVID-19 Test at Home.

Tests are currently available to Minnesotans who live in: Aitkin County, Becker County, Beltrami County, Carver County, Cook County, Crow Wing County, Dakota County, Douglas County, Itasca County, Kandiyohi County, Kittson County, Le Sueur County, Lyon County, Mower County, Nobles County, Otter Tail County, Pennington County, Pine County, Red Lake Nation, Rock County, Steele County, Swift County, Wilkin County and Wright County.

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