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Free, COVID-19 testing site in Wadena

FSA coronavirus CDC
Special to The Forum

The Wadena Armory was selected as one of 11 new COVID-19 testing sites.

In order to expand access to free, “no barrier” COVID-19 testing, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced 11 longer-term COVID-19 testing sites will open across Minnesota in the coming weeks.

The new sites will be operated by the Minnesota National Guard and will remain open through at least the end of the year, in partnership with the MDH and local public health staff. The Wadena site will offer a non-invasive nasal swab test at no cost to all Minnesotans, whether they have symptoms or not. Health insurance and identification are not required.

“As the director of public health in Wadena County the number of COVID cases and hospitalizations in our surrounding communities is very concerning,” said Cindy Pederson. “One of the best ways to help keep our community healthy is to get tested and slow the spread of COVID-19. Testing leads to identification and follow-up with persons who test positive, and additional safeguards to prevent spread. We are grateful for the help of the Minnesota National Guard and public health officials in setting up this free testing site in Wadena.”

To sign up ahead of time and avoid long lines, visit www.primarybio.com/r/wadena to schedule an appointment. If you are not able to sign up online, or need an interpreter, call 1-855-612-0677 for assistance. To request an Americans with Disabilities Act accommodation or other accessibility needs for testing, email covidresults@state.mn.us or call 1-855-612-0677 for assistance.


They are also accepting walk-ups at any time during operating hours.

Testing is available from noon to 6 p.m. Nov. 17-19, 23-24 and Dec. 1-5, 9-11, 16-19, 21-22, 28-30 at the Wadena Armory, 517 Jefferson St. N., Wadena.

For additional information, go to www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/community.html

What to bring

  • Wear a face mask or face covering, if you can.

  • If you registered for an appointment, bring your confirmation text or email, if you can.

  • You do not need to show identification or insurance information.

“Minnesota is entering the most difficult phase of the pandemic yet,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm in a release. “We have record levels of new cases, high hospitalization numbers, and increased community spread. At the same time, we know promising vaccines are entering new stages of development.”
“Right now, our job is to build a bridge to that day when safe and effective vaccines are widely available. We do that by working together to limit the impacts of COVID-19 on our families and communities through the simple steps we know make a difference. That includes social distancing, masking, avoiding crowds, staying home when sick, and getting tested when appropriate. This latest expansion of testing makes that last part easier by providing Minnesotans with an unprecedented level of access to COVID-19 tests,” Malcolm said.

“Our mobile community testing events allowed us to test thousands of Minnesotans, in all corners of the state,” said Dan Huff, assistant commissioner for health protection. “We came to communities experiencing spikes in cases or hotspots. But now, every community is seeing spikes in cases. By placing these testing sites in armories for the time being, we’re able to spend more time providing tests, instead of setting up new testing sites every week. This expansion allows us to be more efficient and provide more access to more people.”

At-home testing kits

Through the COVID-19 Test at Home program, any person in Minnesota can order a saliva test to be delivered at their home with expedited shipping. The test is then sent to the new lab in Oakdale, Minnesota, for processing.


“Our mail order at-home test program is another way we are helping Minnesotans stay safe, which also includes the 10 on-site testing facilities across the state, and the Oakdale COVID-19 lab,” said Vault Health Founder and CEO Jason Feldman. "Now, residents can access our tests from the safety of their own home under the digital supervision of a practitioner with results in the same amount of time."

Find more information or to order a test, visit www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/athome.html.

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