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Winona County to host a free COVID-19 testing site Sept. 15-16

Kaitlyn Riley

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Image by fernando zhiminaicela from Pixabay

A free, two-day COVID-19 testing site will be held at Winona State University Sept. 15 and 16.

The Minnesota Department of Health is partnering with local public health officials and higher education institutions for the event.

Testing is available to anyone who wants to be tested. The testing site will be set up in the Integrated Wellness Complex parking lot on the Winona State University campus. Those who drive to the event will not be required to exit their vehicle at any time. Walk-up testing will also be available.

“Testing uncovers positive cases earlier,” Winona County Emergency Management Coordinator Ben Klinger said. “The test results will provide important data about the degree of spread in our area and help to guide efforts to combat COVID-19 and protect those who are most vulnerable to serious complications.”

Winona County Public Health Supervisor Melanie Tatge said many who contract COVID-19 experience mild or even no symptoms, but some face life-threatening complications.

“All who contract the virus are contagious,” Tatge said. “Testing large numbers of people in an area already experiencing community spread, isolating those who are positive, and quarantining their close contacts is a proven strategy for fighting the spread of a virus like COVID-19.”

Testing will start at 11 a.m. and end at 7 p.m. both days at the Integrated Wellness Center Parking lot at Mark and Main Street on campus. The public vehicle entrance will be on the corner of Huff Street and Mark Street.

Anyone who wants to be tested is encouraged to come, even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19. No insurance or identification is needed. To avoid lines, individuals can pre-register for a time slot.

Those who are unable to sign up online or need interpretation can call 1-855-612-0677 for assistance.

The state is partnering with the following organizations for this event:


 City of Winona
 Winona State University
 Winona Health
 Winona County Public Health
 Winona County
 Winona County Emergency Management
 St. Mary’s University of Minnesota
 Minnesota State College Southeast

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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