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Saliva testing offered at Roy Wilkins Auditorium

The State of Minnesota is offering free, daily saliva testing starting Friday, Oct. 30 at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in RiverCentre, 175 Kellogg Blvd in Saint Paul. Testing will be available seven days a week, noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Appointments can be made through the Vault Health registration site.

Testing is free to all Minnesotans who believe they need a COVID-19 test, including those who are asymptomatic. Participants will be asked for their health insurance information so the state can bill their insurance company on their behalf, but there will be no charge to residents. If a person is uninsured or for any reason insurance doesn’t cover some or all of the cost, the state will cover the difference so testing remains completely free to everyone. Results will be provided by Vault Health via email or by phone within 24-48 hours.

The saliva test is a PCR test, just like the traditional nasal swab, with the same effectiveness rate; however, it is more comfortable to take. Those who come for a test should avoid eating, drinking, chewing, or smoking anything for at least 30 minutes before providing a sample. Once they arrive at the site, they will self-administer the test by spitting into a funnel attached to a small tube. Clinic staff will be available on-site to monitor the collection process

Limited free parking will be available on the roof of the Saint Paul RiverCentre ramp. Metered parking is also available in Rice Park. To access the entrance to the Roy Wilkins Auditorium, people are encouraged to take the skyway from the RiverCentre Parking Ramp, enter the doors by the RiverCentre marquee sign on Kellogg Boulevard, or enter at the Rice Park entrance located on Washington Street, and follow directional signage.

“We’re pleased this hub will open in Saint Paul and offer another fast, easy way for people who live and work in the east metro area to get tested,” said Ramsey County Board Chair Toni Carter. “The new site expands and complements Ramsey County efforts to reach underserved populations through the low-barrier testing we have been offering at Aldrich Arena and at other sites with our community partners.”

“Minnesota is seeing an alarming jump in COVID-19 cases and neighboring states are seeing even worse,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. “The good news is that Minnesotans have it in their power to make things better if everyone does their part. Testing is a key part of our strategy, and we’ve made great progress in removing obstacles to testing thanks to strong partnerships across the state.”

Posted on Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 2:23 p.m.