By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With COVID-19 cases still on the rise, Essentia Health has announced it will switch over to self-swab tests for those seeking COVID-19 tests.

The hospital says anyone who schedules a COVID test at any of their clinics will receive a kit to perform their own testing. This option is for those who want only a test and not a scheduled visit to the clinic.

Once a test is scheduled, patients can check in, receive a kit and go back to their vehicle and perform the test on their own. When finished, the sample will be returned to a collection location. Users should be notified of the results within 15 minutes.

The release said this change will be a better use of Essentia’s resources so more staff can readily offer COVID booster shots and care for patients.

“Not only has demand for tests increased, but the shutdown of many government testing sites has funneled more patients into Essentia’s clinics, creating volume challenges for our staff and patients,” Essentia Health spokesperson Tony Matt said.

In order to receive a test at an Essentia clinic, patients can schedule an appointment through the MyChart patient portal, or call their local clinic.