By Dana Kazel
With the launch of the State of Minnesota’s rapid test site for COVID-19 in Hibbing on Mondays and Tuesdays, St. Louis County Public Health is changing its schedule of testing events to provide more days with test options on the Iron Range. Beginning next week, St. Louis County will offer free COVID tests on:
. Wednesdays: 1-5 p.m., Eveleth Auditorium, 421 Jackson Street, Eveleth
. Fridays: 1-4 p.m., St. Louis County Public Works Facility (training room), 7823 Highway 135, Virginia.
These are Vault saliva tests, and results typically come back in 24-48 hours. No appointment is needed for these COVID-19 tests.
Information on the Community Testing Sites operated by the state at the Hibbing Armory and Duluth DECC can be found at: COVID-19 Community Testing Sites / COVID-19 Updates and Information – State of Minnesota (mn.gov)
Regarding vaccines, St. Louis County Public Health is now offering booster doses for all three COVID-19 vaccines: Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. People eligible for boosters include: everyone age 65+; as well as anyone age 18+ who works or lives in a setting that puts them at high risk of exposure, or who has underlying medical conditions.
Pfizer and Moderna boosters are recommended six months after the second dose was received. The Johnson & Johnson booster is recommended two months after the initial dose was received. Per the CDC’s latest recommendation, people may choose to receive a different booster than the original vaccine they received.
Public Health continues to offer first and second doses of Pfizer and Moderna, and the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at these clinics, as well as third doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for immunocompromised individuals.
Vaccine opportunities next week include:
. Wednesday, November 3: Shriners Center and Meeting Facility, 5152 Miller Trunk Hwy in Hermantown from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
. Friday, November 5: St. Louis County Government Services Center – Duluth, 320 West 2nd Street; and at the St. Louis County Government Services Center – Virginia, 201 South 3rd Avenue West. Both clinics will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Appointments for COVID-19 vaccines are recommended, though walk-ins will be accommodated whenever possible. People can register for an appointment at stlouiscountymn.gov/vaccineregistration.
Note that if the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 is approved next week, St. Louis County Public Health will not be offering it at any of the above listed clinics. Vaccine clinics for youth age 5-11 are being planned but will not be announced until the vaccine receives the final necessary authorizations.