MONTEVIDEO — Free testing for COVID-19 will be offered from noon to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 20-22, at the Montevideo Community Center, 550 First St. S.. in the Southtown Plaza.

Montevideo is among four sites where the Minnesota Department of Health is offering the free testing to increase access to "no barrier" COVID-19 testing, the department announced Thursday. It is working with public health officials in Montevideo, Monticello, Cambridge and Crookston to offer the testing.

This testing will be free, available to anyone who wants to be tested whether they have symptoms or not, and will not require insurance. The state has now conducted about 25,000 tests at around 21 sites during the first four weeks of no barrier testing.

“The acceleration in cases and community spread is a reminder that it only takes one contagious person to lead to an outbreak,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm in a news release. “These trends are most troublesome in Greater Minnesota right now, as we see smaller, everyday gatherings and activities leading to infections in long-term care facilities, schools, sports teams, businesses, and more."

Health officials are using testing data to identify communities that are experiencing workplace clusters, are close to bordering states, or have not yet had larger-scale testing offered.

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Testing opportunities have been provided in Grand Rapids, Pine City, Waseca, Bloomington, Maplewood, Moorhead, Marshall, Thief River Falls, Bemidji, St. Joseph, Willmar, Fairmont, Inver Grove Heights, Ely, Cloquet, Anoka, Faribault, Luverne, Alexandria, Aitkin, and St. Cloud.

Testing will be done with a nasal swab, processed either by Mayo Clinic Laboratories or the University of Minnesota, through the lab capacity created by the testing partnership. These community testing sites are in addition to the new semi-permanent saliva testing sites now available to Minnesotans.

Saliva testing sites are open in Duluth and Winona, with one opening in Moorhead on Saturday and one in Brooklyn Park on Oct. 20. Both nasal and saliva testing are PCR tests, not to be confused with antigen testing.

Anyone who wants to be tested is encouraged to come, even if they do not have symptoms of COVID-19. No insurance or identification is needed.

To avoid long lines, people are encouraged to register in advance for a time slot. The details and registration links for all four events next week are listed below. Those who are unable to sign up online or need interpretation can call 1-855-612-0677 for assistance.

Montevideo

Tuesday, Oct. 20; Wednesday, Oct. 21; Thursday, Oct. 22

12 to 6 p.m.

Montevideo Community Center

550 1st Street South

Montevideo, MN 56265

Montevideo Community COVID-19 Testing: Schedule Appointment

Monticello

Tuesday, Oct. 20; Wednesday, Oct. 21; Thursday, Oct. 22

12 to 6 p.m.

Great River Soccer Club (Indoor Facility)

101 Chelsea Rd.

Monticello, MN 55362

Monticello Community COVID-19 Testing: Schedule Appointment

Cambridge

Wednesday, Oct. 21; Thursday, Oct. 22

12 to 6 p.m.

Armed Forces Reserve and Community Center

505 Spirit River Drive South

Cambridge, MN 55008

Cambridge Community COVID-19 Testing: Schedule Appointment

Crookston

Tuesday, Oct. 20; Wednesday, Oct. 21; Thursday, Oct. 22

12 to 6 p.m.

Crookston Sports Center

801 Fisher Ave

Crookston, MN 56716

Crookston Community COVID-19 Testing: Schedule Appointment

For more information and to register for an appointment, visit the COVID-19 Community Testing webpage.

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