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Pop-up saliva COVID-19 tests available for Rochester, Olmsted County residents

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -- A new way to test for COVID-19 is now available in downtown Rochester for a limited time.

Friday and Saturday only, Rochester and Olmsted County residents can get tested at a saliva testing site.

The pop-up saliva testing site is the first of its kind for the county, but has been used around other parts of the state.

The COVID-19 testing event is free and taking place on the 2nd floor of 318 Commons on 1st. Avenue SW in downtown Rochester.

You are encouraged to make an appointment, but one is not required.

This is a 'no barriers' testing event, so health insurance and identification are not required to be tested.

The saliva testing site is a partnership between the state of Minnesota, Olmsted County, and the University of Minnesota Rochester.

And even though the vaccine is now available, officials says it's still important to get tested.

"It's important to stop the transmission of COVID and allowing folks to get tested if they think that they've been exposed, or if they are having symptoms, that's really important," said Amanda Frie, State Incident Commander with the State Emergency Operations Center. "And with vaccinations rolling out from the federal government, it also really important for folks to be tested because we don't have a guarantee of how many vaccinations we'll get at any certain point."

The saliva test is non-invasive and self-administered.

You should avoid drinking or chewing anything, as well as smoking for at least 30 minutes before taking your test.

If you were unable to get tested Friday, you can get tested Saturday from Noon until 6 p.m.

Tests will be processed at the saliva lab in Oakdale and results will be emailed in 2 to 3 days.

Sarah Gannon

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