Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has ordered a dramatic increase of COVID-19 testing across the state, and Essential Health has announced they're prepared to step up.

According to their press release, Essentia Health has expanded their testing criteria to include all patients who have symptoms of COVID-19. This change is effective immediately at all of their sites in Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota.

Previously, testing was limited to specific groups of people, such as first responders, health care workers, patients over 65 and those with underlying health conditions.

If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, please start an E-Visit at EssentiaHealth.org (click here). E-Visits are free for patients with COVID-19 symptoms. You also can call our hotline at (833) 494-0836. An Essentia provider will evaluate your symptoms and, if necessary, refer you for a test.


Governor Walz has asked for health care providers to ramp up capacity to as many as 20,000 tests per day statewide.

You can follow the link below for a list of current Essentia testing sites as well as other important information on COVID-19, including scheduling an E-Visit.

Keep in mind, you'll first need to obtain a medical order for testing through an E-Visit or the COVID-19 hotline.

Patients won’t be billed for costs related to COVID-19 testing. This includes balances after insurance is billed, such as co-pays or deductibles. It also includes uninsured patients.


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