By WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota continues to aggressively expand testing as COVID-19 cases surge across the state.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health announced where 11 more free “no barrier” testing sites will open next week. Additionally, they said that the state’s mail-in saliva test program is now available statewide. (To request a free mail-in test, click here.)

Ten of the “no barrier” testing sites will open at Minnesota National Guard armories. These sites will be open three to five days a week at least through the end of the year. Some of the sites will offer nasal swab tests, others will have the less invasive saliva tests.

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Like several other “no barrier” testing sites that have opened across Minnesota in recent weeks, tests at these new armory sites will be free. No insurance or any COVID-19 symptoms are required for a test. Since the tests are processed at a lab in the Twin Cities, results will come back in 24 to 48 hours. Mail-in test results will be returned just as fast.

The armory sites will be staffed by public health personnel and Minnesota National Guard soldiers. Nearly 100 members of the National Guard will be deployed to provide support with logistics, registration, check in and check out, supply management and transportation, officials say.

Along with these National Guard armory sites, the state’s 10th free saliva testing site will open Monday in Burnsville, at the former Pier 1 store.

This investment in testing will allow health officials to track the disease as it spreads through the state at record levels. On Wednesday, Gov. Tim Walz told MPR News that the state’s positivity rate was around 20%, meaning that one in five people who get tested is positive for the virus.

Here is a list of the National Guard sites opening next week:

Albert Lea
National Guard Armory
410 Prospect Ave.
Opens Wednesday

Anoka
National Guard Armory
408 Main Street E
Opens Tuesday

Crookston
National Guard Armory
1801 University Ave.
Opens Monday

Fairmont
National Guard Armory
700 N Fairlakes Ave.
Opens Wednesday

Hibbing
National Guard Armory
2310 Brooklyn Dr.
Opens Wednesday

Hutchinson
National Guard Armory
1200 Adams St. SE
Opens Nov. 30

Inver Grove Heights
National Guard Armory
8076 Babcock Trail
Opens Tuesday

Morris
National Guard Armory
722 Iowa Ave.
Opens Wednesday

Stillwater
National Guard Armory
350 Maryknoll Dr. N.
Opens Monday

Wadena
National Guard Armory
517 Jefferson St. N.
Opens Wednesday

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