By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — State health officials have announced the next group of cities to host free COVID-19 testing sites next week.

In a statement Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health said that during the week of Oct. 5 “no barrier” testing will be held in St. Joseph, Willmar, Fairmont, Inver Grove Heights, Ely, and Cloquet.

No insurance or symptoms are required for testing at these sites. Testing will be done via a nasal swab.

The free testing is part of a four-week effort track COVID-19 in Minnesota following an uptick in community spread. Officials say the testing is targeted to communities that haven’t had widespread testing, are near a border, or may be experiencing workplace outbreaks.

Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm says that thousands have gotten free tests during the first two weeks of the testing push.

Communities that have already hosted free testing events are Grand Rapids, Pine City, Waseca, Bloomington, Maplewood, Moorhead, Marshall, Thief River Falls, and Bemidji.

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