ST. JOSEPH – State and local officials are partnering to offer free COVID-19 tests in six Minnesota communities, including St. Joseph.

The Minnesota Department of Health says COVID-19 testing will be held Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Clemens Field House on the College of Saint Benedict campus, located at 37 College Avenue South. Testing will be done with a nasal swab, processed either by Mayo Clinic Laboratories or the University of Minnesota.

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Health officials are using testing data to identify communities that are experiencing workplace clusters, are close to bordering states, or haven’t yet had larger-scale testing offered. No-barrier testing has already been offered in nine Minnesota communities. MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm says 4,700 people were tested during first two days of events and many already know their results.

“We know some people who contract COVID-19 might not even know they have it,” Malcolm said. “All who contract the virus are contagious and giving people a chance to get tested allows people to isolate if positive and let their close contacts know they should quarantine.”

Tests are available to everyone, even those without COVID-19 symptoms. No insurance or identification is needed.

Tests will be given Tuesday-Thursday from noon-6:00 p.m. People are encouraged to pre-register for a time slot by visiting the MDH website.

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