In order to expand access to free, “no barrier” COVID-19 testing, the Minnesota Department of Health opened a new testing site in Bloomington Nov. 23.

In addition to new testing sites across Minnesota, the COVID-19 Test at Home program is now available to all Minnesotans. This is an expansion from the pilot, which was previously made available in 23 counties and the Red Lake Nation.

All of the new testing sites, as well as the mail order program, offer COVID-19 testing to anyone who wants to be tested, whether they have symptoms or not, and does not require insurance. They will stay in operation until at least the end of the year to provide sustained testing capacity across the state.

The Bloomington location is at Ridgeview Elementary School, 9400 Nesbitt Ave. S., Bloomington. Pre-registration is requested to avoid long lines or waits. To preregister, visit trimurl.co/KOlpGE.

“The more we can test, the better we can get a handle on this virus’ presence in our community, and hopefully slow the spread,” said Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts. “I appreciate the state directing resources to help the people of Bloomington and surrounding communities by giving them one more opportunity for fast and convenient testing.”

Sites at National Guard Armories will be staffed by a combination of state public health staff and members of the Minnesota National Guard. Nearly 100 members of the National Guard are being deployed to provide support with logistics, registration, check in and check out, supply management and transportation. These sites will replace the “pop-up” style of community testing events, which for the past several months would arrive in a community for two or three days of testing.

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