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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesotans who need or want to be tested for COVID-19 will have access to free testing this Memorial Day weekend at six National Guard Armory locations across the state.

The sites will be hosted by the Minnesota National Guard, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the State Emergency Operations Center. The testing teams will have the capacity to collect roughly 2,000 samples per day across all six sites — with a total of roughly 6,000 tests over the three-day weekend.

Although these tests are meant for all Minnesotans, the MDH especially encourages those who are ill and those who have been directly exposed to COVID-19 to get tested. Also, the test is free and no appointment is needed.

When arriving at the testing site, guard members will swab the inside of your nose and ask you to complete paperwork with your name and contact information so you can receive the results. And results will be provided by phone and can be expected within an average of 48 hours after being tested.

“Testing, tracing, and isolating are the best tools we have to understand the impact of the pandemic on our communities and to contain it, so we can continue safely navigating this pandemic,” Gov. Tim Walz said. “I am grateful the Minnesota National Guard is helping with this important effort.”

Safety measures will also be enforced at each testing site — social distancing and mask-wearing practices will be required. The MDH asks that anyone experiencing symptoms should self-quarantine before and after their test until they receive their results.

“Whether during floods or snowstorms, wild-fires or pandemics, we stand ready to serve the people of Minnesota wherever and whenever we are needed,” said Major General Jon Jensen, Minnesota National Guard Adjutant General.

Starting Saturday, May 23, through Monday, May 25, the six Armory locations will be open for testing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, or until supplies are exhausted. Click here to view the map of the sites. 

The MDH says potential free testing events in the future depends on several factors — including demand demonstrated this weekend. Minnesotans can find other testing facilities as well as a symptom screening tool.

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