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Minnesota makes free rapid COVID-19 tests available through online program



FILE - Kristin Travis, a community outreach doula, holds a home COVID-19 test kit Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022, while picking up supplies at Open Arms Perinatal Services before going out to visit some of her clients in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota is launching a new online program to provide free at-home rapid COVID-19 tests.

Beginning Tuesday, Minnesotans can order two test kits per home for a total of four tests via mn.gov/covid19.

The state has secured 500,000 of the test kits and will make them available until the supply runs out, the governor’s office said. Minnesota will use the program as a model for providing more access to rapid testing in the months ahead.

“Our goal has always been to ensure that when Minnesotans need a test, they can get one quickly and easily,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement. “Even as case numbers decline, it’s important that Minnesotans test for COVID-19 if they are feeling sick. That’s why we’re continuing to work to make tests easily accessible – now and in the future.”

The state’s at-home testing program through contractor Vault Health will end Thursday. Minnesotans who have Vault PCR tests at home will be able to use them until they expire, or until Dec. 31, whichever comes first.

Through the federal government, Minnesotans can also order free rapid at-home tests at CovidTests.gov.

With the spike in cases from the omicron variant fading, Minnesota has now recorded 1,427,734 coronavirus cases and 12,382 deaths since the pandemic began two years ago. The case count doesn’t include positive results from at-home tests that aren’t reported to the state.

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