As cases decline, 3 Twin Cities COVID-19 testing sites are closing

woman stares at test tube while sitting
Stephanie Graves checked to see that she provided enough of a sample for her COVID-19 test at the Minneapolis Convention Center in November. Three state-run COVID-19 testing sites in the Twin Cities, including at the convention center, are slated to close this week. 
Kathryn Styer Martinez | MPR News 2020

As COVID-19 abates, three state-run COVID-19 testing sites in the Twin Cities are slated to close this week. 

A testing site at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul will close Thursday, while the ones located at the Minneapolis Convention Center and Bloomington’s Creekside Community Center will close Friday.

State COVID-19 response spokesperson Nick Kimball said that cases of the virus are declining, and with it so is demand for testing. 

“We are making great progress toward ending the pandemic and this is another sign of that as we focus on distributing vaccines and making progress getting 70% of the Minnesota population vaccinated — and on getting there equitably and by leaving no part of the state behind,” said Kimball in a statement. 

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Kimball said that free COVID-19 tests remain available at other testing sites and at local pharmacies.

In recent weeks, cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been dropping. 

One key indicator — the rate of tests coming back positive for COVID-19 — stands at about 1 percent, far below the 5 percent that triggers public health concern.

Meanwhile, the state's vaccination pace continues to crawl. The state set a goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Minnesotans 16 and older by July 1, but at the current rate of vaccination, it isn't going to meet it.

So far, only 66.4 percent of this group has gotten first shots.

COVID-19 in Minnesota