MARSHALL – Starting today, residents of the Marshall area in need of a COVID-19 test will have an additional option. Governor Tim Walz announced on Wednesday that Marshall would be one of four communities where new COVID testing options will be available.
A new saliva PCR test site will open in Marshall, at the Red Baron Arena and Expo. This week, the state is also launching a new COVID-19 rapid test site in Albert Lea with support from the Minnesota National Guard, and rapid testing will also be offered at community testing sites in Minneapolis and Lino Lakes.
The Marshall saliva test site will be open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., the governor’s office said.
Testing is free at all state community testing sites. People who have health insurance will be asked to provide their insurance information. If a person is uninsured or their insurance does not cover the cost of the tests, the state will cover the difference, the governor’s office said.
“An extensive, accessible and free community testing network is essential to ensure that families in Minnesota can get tested for COVID-19” Walz said. “Testing provides clarity and peace of mind for parents, workers and anyone leaving their homes. By expanding our community testing network, we are making it easier for more Minnesotans to get the COVID-19 tests they need. “
“Our community testing network is helping Minnesotans find COVID-19 tests in their part of the country,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “With more activity indoors as the weather gets colder, it’s important that Minnesotans get tested if they’re feeling sick. By expanding our testing network, we are connecting more Minnesotans to testing options near them. “
The rapid test at state sites is recommended for symptomatic Minnesotans and is open to people with or without insurance. While walk-in tours are welcome at state testing sites, people can also schedule a COVID test online at https://mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/testing -locations / community-testing.jsp.
The new community testing site will not prevent sports or youth events at the Red Baron Arena, said Cassi Weiss, director of Visit Marshall. Weiss said the test site will be in the expansive club room on the second level of the facility. Those tested will have separate entry and exit from young hockey players, and testing hours will also be over long before high school hockey games, she said. Cleaning will be done at the facility for safety reasons, Weiss said.
“We are delighted that our facility can host something like this while providing a safe environment for other events,” said Weiss.
Other options for COVID-19 testing, such as drive-thru testing at Avera Marshall’s Carlson Street campus, are also still available in Marshall. The test drive site is open 9 a.m. to noon, Monday to Friday.