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Free COVID-19 testing to be offered Oct. 6-8 at Willmar Armory

The testing in response to the increased community spread is free and open to all, with or without symptoms and no insurance or identification is needed.

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A health care worker holds a COVID-19 test tube at a testing site in Willmar. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — The Minnesota Department of Health will be offering free COVID-19 testing Oct. 6-8 at the Willmar Armory due to the increase in cases in the region, according to a news release from the department.

The testing in response to the increased community spread is free and open to all, with or without symptoms and no insurance or identification is needed.

“We know some people who contract COVID-19 might not even know they have it,” Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a news release. “That’s part of what makes this virus so dangerous and makes easy access to testing and quick results so important. 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. Minnesotans in communities across the state understand the risk and are responding. More than 4,700 people sought a test on the first two days of events this week and many people already know their results.”

Testing will also be done at armories in St. Joseph, Fairmont, Inver Grove Heights, Ely and Cloquet, with the Minnesota National Guard providing logistical support.

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.

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The department said in the release that this strategy will help increase the geographic balance of testing across Minnesota and help it respond where the health risk is greatest. Testing opportunities have been provided in Grand Rapids, Pine City, Waseca, Bloomington, Maplewood, Moorhead, Marshall, Thief River Falls and Bemidji.

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.

People are encouraged to register in advance for a time slot at https://www.primarybio.com/r/willmar . Testing will be conducted from noon to 6 p.m. all three days.

Related Topics: CORONAVIRUSWILLMARMINNESOTA
Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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