COVID-19 testing in Minnesota

Due to a national shortage of testing supplies, in most cases a video visit must be scheduled prior to getting tested for COVID-19. If your doctor recommends that you should be tested, we’ll work with you to schedule a drive-up test at one of our eight clinics in Minnesota currently offering tests.

What to expect if you qualify for a COVID-19 test 1. Prepare for your test

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, we require everyone to wear a mask or face covering before arriving for testing. If you don’t have a mask, you can follow CDC guidelines on making a no-sew cloth face covering. Members of your care team will also wear masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE).

2. Arrive at your test location

When you arrive, follow signs or directions from clinic staff. In most cases, you’ll be tested for COVID-19 without leaving your car. This helps speed up the testing process and also helps everyone practice better social distancing.

3. Get your test results

After your test, you can expect results through your online HealthPartners account in two to three days.

If you do not have an online HealthPartners account, it’s easy to create an account. All you need is your ID number from your insurance card to get started.

If your child 12 years old or younger has been tested, you can set up proxy access to get their test results through your own online account. After you login to your account or create an account:

  • Click your name in the upper right-hand corner.
  • Click “Manage account.”
  • Click “My care” on the left-hand side.
  • Click “Request access to your child’s account.”
  • Fill out the form.
What to do if you have questions or need additional help

If you need help managing your symptoms or you would like to speak to a doctor, please schedule a video visit. During a video visit, your doctor will review your symptoms and help create the best treatment plan.

Our nurses are also available 24/7 to answer questions about symptoms, help you decide what kind of care you need and offer home treatment suggestions. You can reach us anytime by calling the HealthPartners CareLine℠ at 800-551-0859 or the Park Nicollet Nurse Line at 952-993-4665.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, if you don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, you don’t need a test.

If you do have symptoms of COVID-19, schedule a video visit. Due to a national shortage of testing supplies, most individuals are required to have a video appointment with a doctor prior to being tested. Also, COVID-19 and the flu symptoms can be similar, so a video visit can help your doctor recommend the right care. If we determine a COVID-19 test is necessary, we’ll help you schedule one.

If your child needs to be tested for COVID-19, we’ll work to make the process as smooth as possible.

We are only testing symptomatic patients ages three months and older in drive-up testing. If your child is under three months old and is having respiratory symptoms – or you have concerns about COVID-19 – your baby should be seen in a respiratory clinic where testing can be done along with a full physical exam and assessment. We feel this is the safest care option for our youngest patients.

If you are concerned about strep throat in your child, we’ll have your child complete a video visit with a provider prior to getting tested. Sore throat is a COVID-19 symptom; therefore, the video visit is to help determine whether your child will need testing for COVID-19 and strep throat or just COVID-19.

On the day of your test

You may want to prepare your child for the fact that the tester will be in full personal protective equipment (PPE), which may be scary. There are several videos online that demonstrate the procedure and may help your child prepare.

Since we’re scheduling drive-up testing appointments, we’re hopeful waiting time in the car will be minimal. However, please be prepared for potential waits in the car and have comforting music, toys, stuffed animals and snacks along with you. Your child should use the restroom before you come for drive-up testing.

We require that all children over the age of two wear a mask of face covering to their testing visit.

If your child rides in a car seat, it’s best to position the car seat where a tester has easy access to the child (for example, in a row near a door). Testers cannot climb into a car to do the test. If this is necessary, you may be asked to sit with your child on your lap in a chair at the drive-up site.

If you have multiple children in the car that need to be tested, please think about bringing an additional adult with you to remain in the car with unattended children if one child has to be tested outside of the car.

The COVID-19 test involves inserting a swab (similar to a Q-tip) into your child’s nostril to get a sample. This can be an unpleasant feeling, but the swab does need to go in all the way to the back of your child’s nose and has to be inserted for at least three seconds for the swab to be most accurate. Parents may be asked to hold their child’s head during testing. Afterward, your child may cough or even have some slight nose bleeding – this is normal.

Please be aware that if your child is combative or resistant to the test, we will do our best to complete the test but only if it’s safe for both the tester and your child. If you have additional concerns, please let us know when making your appointment.

Getting plenty of rest and drinking water to stay hydrated is key to feeling better. Please note that because COVID-19 is a viral infection, an antibiotic won't soothe or treat the virus.

To help relieve COVID-19 symptoms at home, we recommend the following advice:

If you have a fever or a sore throat
  • For babies under four months old: Call your child’s health care provider for care instructions.
  • For all ages over four months old: Use acetaminophen to help relieve pain and reduce any fever. Follow age and weight-appropriate dosing recommendations and the package instructions. Avoid stomach upset by taking with food or milk.
  • For children over one year old: Honey can help soothe coughs. (This is not recommended for children under one year old.)
  • For adults only: Over-the-counter throat lozenges or antiseptic sprays can also help provide pain relief.
If you have a bothersome cough
  • For children under four years old: The FDA recommends no over-the-counter cough and cold medications for children four years of age or younger. Plenty of liquids and rest also help children feel better.
  • For adults only: A cough suppressant should only be used when you need a rest or break from your cough. Use an over-the-counter cough medication that contains dextromethorphan (such as Delsym®) sparingly.
  • For adults only: Take a cough expectorant that contains guaifenesin (such as Mucinex®) for three days. This will thin mucus in your chest to make it easier to cough up. Avoid multi-symptom versions, which often have extra letters in their name (such as Mucinex DM®). Drinking water can also help to thin mucus and reduce congestion. It's important to allow your body to cough up mucus to get better.
If you have sinus congestion or pain
  • For babies under four months old: A simple bulb syringe and saline nasal spray can be used to clear stuffy noses. Call your child’s doctor for other care instructions.
  • For all ages over four months old: Use acetaminophen to help relieve pain and reduce any fever. Follow age and weight-appropriate dosing recommendations and the package instructions. Avoid stomach upset by taking with food or milk.

The cost of testing is $200 ($132 for the test, plus $68 for the collection). However, most people won’t pay for testing and collection out of pocket.

New government relief plans require all health plans to cover COVID-19 testing and related services with no patient cost sharing. “No patient cost sharing” means that you won’t pay out-of-pocket costs for any part of COVID-19 testing.

If you’re a HealthPartners member, you have 100% coverage for COVID-19 testing and diagnosis. This includes the cost of the care visit associated with testing.

HealthPartners is also waiving the cost for fully insured members for the treatment of COVID-19 when getting care from an in-network provider, effective March 1 through December 31, 2020. This includes copays, coinsurance and deductibles. If you are a self-insured member, call Member Services at the number on the back of your member ID card to understand your coverage.

For HealthPartners Medicare members, the cost of COVID-19 testing and treatment is covered fully until the federal government declares an end to the public health emergency. This includes copays, coinsurance and deductibles.

Some airlines, travel agencies, schools, colleges or extracurricular activities may require you (or your child) to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Insurance doesn’t cover COVID-19 testing for travel or education purposes. However, we’re pleased to offer testing for these reasons at a reduced rate. The cost of travel- or education-related COVID-19 testing is $125 (including collection).

Before returning to work, you must contact your employer for return-to-work instructions. You can request return-to-work documents and work accommodation letters through your online account.

Visit our COVID-19 information page to learn more about how we’re responding to the COVID-19 outbreak to help everyone get the health care they need.

For the latest updates on COVID-19, go to:

We’re following these three organizations’ prevention, screening and treatment guidelines. We are working closely with these organizations and other health care providers around Minnesota, Wisconsin and the country to help prevent the virus from spreading.