COVID-19 saliva test site to open at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul

A new COVID-19 saliva testing lab opened in Oakdale, Minnesota. (FOX 9)

The Minnesota Department of Health will be opening its next COVID-19 saliva test site Friday at the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul, according to state officials.

Testing will be available seven days a week from noon to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Anyone, even if they are not experiencing symptoms, can get tested. Appointments can be made at this link. There will be some free parking on the roof of the St. Paul RiverCentre ramp.

"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," said MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm in a press release. "When combined with social distancing, masking, avoiding crowds and staying home when sick, testing helps us slow the spread of COVID-19 and move us closer to the day when we have safe and effective vaccines."

Testing is free to all Minnesotans. People will be asked to provide health insurance information so the state can bill the company. The state will cover the costs for those who are uninsured as well as any remaining costs in case one's insurance does not fully cover the test.

The site at Roy Wilkins Auditorium is the second saliva testing site to open in the Twin Cities metro area and the seventh so far in the state. So far there are locations in Duluth, Winona, Moorhead, Brooklyn Park, Mankato and St. Cloud. The state plans to at least three more sites in the metro.

MORE INFO: Where to get a COVID-19 saliva test in Minnesota 

State officials say the saliva test, which is a PCR test, has the same effectiveness as the traditional nasal swab. Those who are taking the saliva test are asked to avoid eating, drinking, chewing or smoking anything for at least 30 minutes before giving a sample.