Gov. Walz to expand testing capacity for Minnesotans to meet increasing demand

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WKBT) — Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced new statewide COVID-19 testing resources Tuesday, including tests for schools and free, at-home rapid tests for some communities.

“Testing is a key tool for Minnesotans looking to protect themselves and their loved ones from COVID-19 – especially the new, contagious Omicron variant. That’s why we’re expanding the testing options available across Minnesota by opening new community testing sites and providing more at-home rapid tests to communities and schools,” Walz said in a statement.
At-home rapid tests will be distributed in partnership with local food banks, public health, tribal health and Minnesota Department of Health’s COVID-19 Community Coordinators. About 150,000 kits will be distributed, each of which contain two tests. They will be available for communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

The state also secured 1.8 million more at-home tests for schools and child care providers to distribute to families.  This is in addition to the 1 million tests announced last month.

The National Guard will open two new community testing sites at metro area armories. More details on locations, hours and appointments will be released soon.

A new community testing site will also be available in North Branch beginning Jan. 10. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays.

Locations, hours and appointments for the state’s testing sites are available on the state’s website.

Minnesotans also can find vaccine appointments with the vaccine locator map or by looking for appointments on

Recent headlines on News 8 Now

Trial starts for Wisconsin man accused of killing parents

Vernon County man injured in logging accident

Rep. Jim Hagedorn tests positive for COVID-19, reports mild symptoms

$75,000 match supports Great Rivers United Way’s annual campaign