SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first month



Minnesota offering free saliva tests for COVID-19 to teachers, child care workers

Minnesota News Brief graphic
Minnesota News Brief graphic
We are part of The Trust Project.

ST. PAUL — With a new academic year underway, teachers, school staff members and child care workers are being sent registration materials for free COVID-19 saliva tests, Minnesota officials announced Wednesday, Sept. 2.

More than 250,000 tests are expected to be completed as part of the state's plan to resume school amid the coronavirus pandemic. The state has offered to pay for tests as a last resort when insurers refuse to cover them.

All told, the testing program is estimated to cost $6 million.

The State Department of Education has emailed unique registration codes to the employees of Minnesota’s school districts, charter schools, tribal schools and nonpublic schools. The State Department of Human Services, meanwhile, will provide codes to workers at licensed child care facilities.

Individuals eligible for them are not required to take them before returning to work, but are encouraged to take them when they believe they have been exposed to COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, or exhibit symptoms of it.


Officials are offering the tests through a partnership with Vault Health and Infinity Biologix. Walz's administration has said it intends to make free saliva tests available to all Minnesotans through the same agreement.

What to read next
Delores Alleckson, a nurse practitioner at Essentia Health in Detroit Lakes, often sees people with a variety of mood disorders. Alleckson said some disorders require medications, while others can be addressed with dietary changes, or a combination of both.
"Minding Our Elders" columnist Carol Bradley Bursack says the loss of a spouse or partner is sometimes enough to exacerbate the survivor's own health issues so a disease that may have become manageable for a time becomes the official cause of death.
Parents and guardians across the country are struggling to find formula for their children, facing empty shelves and their children’s hungry bellies. Sanford Pediatrician Dr. Colleen Swank shares advice for parents during the ongoing formula shortage.
Experts say obstetrics and gynecology training programs in so-called "abortion refugee" states such as Minnesota will be needed to serve an increase of out-of-state physicians seeking training in abortion care as part of an accredited program. Mayo and UMN offer the only such residencies in Minnesota.