Minnesota Health Officials Hope Mail-In Saliva Tests Help Reach Areas Without Testing Site Access
Minnesota’s strategy for curbing and, hopefully, heading off runaway COVID community spread is to provide access for Minnesotans who need testing. Dan Huff, the Department of Health’s Assistant Commissioner, said, since early September, testing statewide has increased 65 percent.
“Adding testing capacity allows us to test more of our priority populations. And that includes people who have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID, doing more community testing in underserved populations, responding to outbreaks, and preventing growth in cases through this more targeted testing,” said Huff
However, this comes as case numbers are on an upswing. So in late September, the state began opening saliva test clinics in Greater Minnesota and the metro. More clinics are being added over the next weeks.
Still, some Minnesotans do not have access to a testing site. A new initiative, available in November, will try to fill the gap with mail-in test kits. Here’s Assistant Commissioner Huff:
“The COVID-19 Testing at Home Program will allow Minnesotans to register online and to receive their at-home testing kit via UPS,” said Huff.
Insurance will cover the cost. Underinsured Minnesotans or those without insurance can receive their test at no cost.