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What you can expect heading to Minnesota’s first saliva COVID-19 testing site in Duluth

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DULUTH, MN. -- Minnesota's very first saliva COVID tests will be administered Wednesday in Duluth.

The DECC's Paulucci Hall has been transformed into a unique testing site.

No longer do you have to feel uncomfortable with a cotton swab up your nose when getting a COVID-19 test. Now instead you just spit inside a tube.

"The test kit is pretty small. It contains a tube where the saliva will go and also a cap filled with a preservative to make sure the saliva stays stable all the way back to the lab," said Shawn Baxley, General Manager at Vault Health Inc.

If you make an appointment or walk-in, you'll grab a test and head to a sanitized table to complete it.

"If the green sign is down that means the patient can go to it and has been thoroughly sanitized between patients," said Baxley.

The test will only take ten minutes to complete, it's free and you don't need insurance or to be experiencing symptoms.

"It's really game-changing I think as we are seeing some community numbers go up for people to get the confidence about where they are at in terms of infection rate," said Duluth Mayor Emily Larson.

After completing paperwork on your smartphone or iPad on-site, you will spit in the tube, fill it to the designated line, put the cap on it, and head on your way.

"We are reducing any kind of barrier that is put in place so there's no excuse not to come to get tested. If you believe that you have been in contact with someone or your children have been in contact with someone who has COVID, you can find out and can take the appropriate steps to keep you and your family healthy," said Anne O'Connor, who oversees Minnesota's COVID-19 community testing program.

You must wear a mask while at the testing site.

Anyone coming to get a test should avoid eating, drinking, chewing, or smoking anything for at least a half-hour before providing a sample.

The testing site will be open five days a week, Wednesdays through Sundays.

For the hours of operation, or to make a reservation, click here.

Ryan Compeau

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