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Video: COVID-19 testing kicks off in Duluth, other MN cities

May 24, 2020 06:50AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Photo: WDIO-TV

By Emily Ness of WDIO-TV - May 24, 2020

On Saturday, the Minnesota National Guard began COVID-19 testing at six locations across the state, including in Duluth. The testing was free and open to all Minnesotans. It will continue Sunday and Monday, or until supplies run out.

"The state of Minnesota provided over 6,000 kits for the six testing sites so we have 1100 kits here. They’ll be administered Saturday, Sunday, Monday from 10:00am to 5:00pm,” Audra Flanagan, Public Affairs Officers for Minnesota National Guard said.

At testing sites, patients check in with members of the Minnesota National Guard who complete a pre-screening process.

“The soldiers and airmen that are doing tests today have medical career fields, so they are either medical technicians or something related to that,” Flanagan said.

Patients who are symptomatic are asked to remain in their cars for a test, while patients who are asymptomatic are tested inside the building.

“The patients will come in, they’ll do their paperwork. We’ll get their name, date of birth. They’ll get escorted over to the testing site where the testers will kind of explain the procedure,” Tech Sergeant Nicholas Benedict, Cardio Pulmonary Technician for the 148th Fighter Wing said.

That procedure involves putting a nasal swab in the patient’s nose.

"Takes about five seconds. It’s going to be a little bit of discomfort, but it’s not going to be painful at all. Put it in a vial. The collector will come get the test from us, put it in the cooler,” Benedict said.

That cooler is then shipped down to the Mayo Clinic where testing takes place. At the Duluth Armory, officials say results will be provided by phone within three to five days, but this could vary at other locations.

“Today’s testing is a partnership with the state of Minnesota, the Minnesota National Guard and the Minnesota Department of Health. The Minnesota Department of Health is on site. They provided the testing materials and the personal protective equipment,” Flanagan said.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, patients who would like to be tested are also asked to wear masks and practice social distancing.

More information about testing sites can be found here:

  • East St Paul

1530 Maryland Ave E, St Paul, MN 55106

  • Minneapolis Armory

1025 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413.

  • Moorhead Armory

1002 15th Ave N, Moorhead, MN 56560

  • Duluth Armory

4015 Airpark Blvd, Duluth, MN 55811

  • Faribault Armory

3000 W Airport Rd, Faribault, MN 55021

  • St. James Armory

521 Armstrong Blvd N, St James, MN 56081

To read the original article and see related reporting, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.