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ST. PAUL -- With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz and state health officials are rolling out another way for residents to get tested and help limit the spread.

Department of Health Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff says the newly expanded saliva testing sites gives residents another way to access COVID-19 testing.

Adding testing capacity allows us to test more of our priority populations, including people who had close contact with someone with COVID, responding to outbreaks and preventing growth in cases through this more targeted testing.

Huff says in the next few days they will be setting up saliva testing sites in Duluth, Winona, Moorhead, and Brooklyn Park, with plans to add more in the Twin Cities metro and greater Minnesota. The Winona testing site is scheduled to open on Wednesday.

Governor Walz says with the rate of community spread growing rapidly, they needed to make some changes in their testing protocols.

We want to cut off that community spread by making sure people get tested as easily, quickly and close to their home as they possibly can. The longer it takes for us to find out if someone unknowingly has this, the more they unknowingly spread it.

In addition to the actual testing sites, MDH is also rolling out a pilot program for at-home mail-ordered saliva testing kits which should launch in the next few weeks.