Dec 20, 2021 - COVID

How to get a COVID-19 test in Minnesota ahead of Christmas

Illustration of simplified Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer, with a COVID ball as the nose.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The rapidly spreading Omicron variant is increasing demand for COVID-19 tests in much of the country.

Why it matters: Getting tested before gathering indoors and unmasked with family and friends this week can lower the chance someone will unknowingly spread the virus.

State of play: Minnesotans have plenty of options when it comes to testing.

  • Some state-run sites, including at the Minneapolis Convention Center and Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul, have extended hours this week.
  • Both PCR and rapid antigen test are available, free of charge.

You can also order a free saliva test to complete at home via Vault Medical Services' partnership with the Minnesota Department of Health.

  • Note that while the test might arrive quickly, it will likely take a few days for your results.

At-home rapid tests remain in stock at many pharmacy chains. You can check availability and reserve for pick-up ahead of time at Walgreens or Walmart, which appears to offer lower prices locally.

  • The at-home tests add up — a two-pack will cost between $14 and $24 at local stores— but they are eligible for reimbursement if you have cash left in a pre-tax health spending account.

Pharmacies and clinics across the metro have appointments open.

Catch up on the latest COVID-19 news via Axios' Omicron dashboard.

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