The Free Press

ST. JAMES — Minnesotans who need or want to be tested for COVID-19 will be able to access testing this weekend at six National Guard Armory locations, including the St. James site, at 521 N. Armstrong Blvd., and the Faribault site at 3000 W. Airport Road.

The free testing is available to all interested Minnesotans, especially those who are ill and those who have been directly exposed to a known COVID-19 positive contact.

National Guard facilities will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday to conduct testing, or until testing supplies are exhausted.

Appointments are not necessary. National Guard members will swab the inside of participants’ noses. Test results will be provided by phone and expected with an average of 48 hours.

Minnesota National Guard members will have the capacity to collect about 6,000 tests at the sites over the three-day weekend.

The sites are hosted by the Minnesota National Guard, the Minnesota Department of Health, and the State Emergency Operations Center, which is the central coordinating cell for the majority of COVID-19 operations.

“Testing, tracing, and isolating are the best tools we have to understand the impact of the pandemic on our communities and to contain it, so we can continue safely navigating this pandemic,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a press release from the governor’s office.