Minnesota opens temporary COVID-19 testing site in Thief River Falls

The Minnesota Department of Health announced a new temporary COVID-19 testing site at the Thief River Falls Armory.

According to a release, testing at the site will occur March 9-11 from noon-6 p.m. Appointments are strongly encouraged but not required.

"We are increasingly concerned about dramatic increases in cases particularly in Pennington County which is the highest case rate in the state, more than 5 times the statewide average and 6 times that of Hennepin County. Right now Thief River Falls is the center of this COVID-19 hotspot, which is spreading to neighboring counties," Dan Huff, MDH assistant commissioner for health protection, said in the release.

The Thief River Falls site is a coordinated effort between the State of Minnesota, the Minnesota National Guard, Inter-County Nursing Service, Thief River Falls Armory and Vault Health.

Testing at the Thief River Falls site is offered at no cost. Participants will be asked for their health insurance information so the state can bill their insurance company on their behalf. If a person is uninsured or if insurance doesn’t cover some or all of the cost, the state will cover the difference so testing remains open to all at no cost.

Testing is open to anyone who believes they need a COVID-19 test, with or without insurance. 

Those who arrive 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 salivating into a funnel attached to a small tube. Clinic staff will be available on-site to monitor the collection process.

Walk-ins are welcome. People seeking testing at the Thief River Falls site can schedule a test online through Vault Health. Tests will be processed in Minnesota at the saliva lab in Oakdale run by Vault Health and Infinity Biologix (IBX). Results will be provided via email in approximately 48-72 hours.

Testing site location:
Thief River Falls Armory
250 Emil St.
Thief River Falls, MN 56701

Hours of operation:
Tuesday, March 9 – Thursday, March 11
Noon to 6 p.m.