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Saliva test for COVID-19 available to all Cook County residents

All Cook County residents can now order a COVID-19 saliva test online and complete the test at home.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Oct. 22 news about the COVID-19 saliva at home test program to allow local residents the opportunity to be tested for the new coronavirus.

“Minnesota’s testing strategy includes having multiple options for people seeking out testing,” Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said in a news release sent to WTIP. “Having more options helps to remove barriers, ensuring all Minnesotans have access to quick and reliable testing.”

Cook County residents are able to order a saliva test online by following this link. The test is mailed to a Cook County address. The test itself involves spitting into a small tube, under the supervision of a health care professional through a video telehealth visit. Once completed, the test is shipped to the state’s new saliva lab in the Twin Cities region where results are then emailed back in 24 to 48 hours.

North Shore Health Hospital Administrator Kimber Wraalstad said local healthcare officials are aware of the saliva testing being offered by MDH. During an interview on WTIP Oct. 23, Wraalstad encouraged anyone who does test positive through this process to notify local public health officials immediately of the results.

According to MDH, this specific type of testing is free and available to all Cook County residents, including those who are asymptomatic. Participants will be asked for their health insurance information so the state can bill their insurance company on their behalf. If a person is uninsured or for any reason insurance does not cover some or all of the cost, the state will cover the difference so testing remains completely free to everyone, according to MDH officials.

Listen to the audio below to hear a discussion between Wraalstad and WTIP News Director Joe Friedrichs.