Before you head home for the holiday break, you may want to get tested for COVID-19 to make sure that you aren’t bringing the virus along with you.

Several airlines even require a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding.

The current recommendation is to get tested now or as soon as possible, and again 3 days before you leave.

If you return home for Thanksgiving and come back to campus after break, it is recommended for you to get tested 5-7 days after you return.


Where to Get Tested

WSU Health Services

WSU Health & Wellness Services offers COVID-19 tests to those who are symptomatic or have been in close contact with a confirmed case.

It’s best to be tested by WSU Health Services because then the staff can get started to contain, trace, and stop the spread on campus faster.

You will also receive great follow-up care and guidance tailored to college students.

Getting a test is 100% free. If your insurance doesn’t cover the full cost, WSU will pay for the rest.

Please call ahead by calling Ask-A-Nurse at 507.457.2292 or schedule an appointment with WSU Health Services at 507.457.5160.

Remember to bring your insurance card or information to your appointment.


  • Who: Students experiencing symptoms | Students who have been in close contact with a positive case
  • Where: IWC testing area
  • When: Mon, Wed. & Friday from 12-2pm and other times as needed
  • Cost: Free after insurance

Winona Mall Testing Site

The Minnesota Department of Health has a COVID-19 saliva testing site located at the Winona Mall.

Anyone who wants a COVID-19 test can get one and the tests are completely free after insurance.

This is a great option if you want to get tested before traveling and are asymptomatic because it’s easy, fast and free. The PCR saliva tests are as accurate as nasal COVID tests.

According to Vault Health, PCR saliva tests are 99% effective in detecting COVID-19 (meaning there is a 1% rate of false positives and false negatives).

Walk-ins are accepted, but you are encouraged to schedule an appointment. Please bring any insurance information and identification with you.


  • Who: Anyone – you do not need to have symptoms
  • Where: 1213 Gilmore Ave – entrance is on the HWY 61-facing side, near the DMV
  • When: Wed.-Fri. at 12-6pm | Sat. & 10am-4pm
  • Cost: Free after insurance

Winona Health

Winona Health offers symptomatic and asymptomatic testing at their clinic.  You’ll be directed to the correct testing location depending on whether you’re symptomatic or asymptomatic.

  • Who: Anyone – you do not need to have symptoms
  • Where: 855 Mankato Ave
  • When: Mon-Fri at 9am – 5pm | Sat. 8 – 11:30am
  • Cost: Free after insurance


Hy-Vee also offers asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in Winona. At this location, you will self-administer a nasal COVID-19 test, which will be mailed to a clinical lab to be tested.

Register for a COVID-19 test at Winona Hy-Vee.

  • Who: Anyone — you don’t need to have symptoms
  • Where: 1475 Service Drive, at the Pharmacy Drive-Thru
  • When: Tues. & Thurs. from 7-9 am | Sat 8-10am
  • Cost: Free after insurance

Graham Park Collaborative COVID-19 Testing Site

Olmstead County is offering testing at the Graham Park Collaborative COVID-19 Testing Site. To be added to the testing list, you must first be screened through the COVID-19 Triage Line.

Mayo Clinic patients should call their primary care provider or the Mayo Nurse Line at 507.293.9525. Please bring your Mayo Clinic number if you have one.

Olmsted Medical Center patients should call the COVID-19 Nurse Line at 507.292.7266. This nurse line is open Mon – Fri from 8am – 5pm and Sat – Sun from 8am – 4pm.


  • Who: Anyone – you do not need to have symptoms
  • Where: 4111 HW 52 North – 41st Street Professional Building
  • When: Mon-Fri at 9:30am – 5pm | Sat. – Sun. at 10am – 4pm
  • Cost: Free after insurance

At-Home Testing

The State of Minnesota is offering a free at-home saliva test so you can get tested in the comfort of your own home!

If students have a Minnesota address, they can receive this PCR saliva test at no cost as well.

Learn more and order your mail in COVID-19 test.


  • Who: Any Minnesota resident – you do not need to have symptoms
  • Where: At home with mail delivery
  • When: At your convenience
  • Cost: Free 

After Your Test

Until you get your COVID-19 test results, you should quarantine if you were a close contact or isolate if you have symptoms.  If you are asymptomatic and getting a test for screening purposes, it is still advisable to do a modified quarantine to prevent further exposure from you to others or others to you and becoming infected while awaiting results.

It’s easy to get post-test glee when you get the call that your results are negative. But you have to remember that these test results represent only that moment when you took the test.

Just because you’re negative for COVID-19 right now, you could catch the virus tomorrow. In order to keep your results negative, you need to continue to lay low and quarantine before going home.

Self-Report Your Test to WSU

Please complete the COVID-19 Self-Report form if you were tested at an off-campus location, such as the Winona Mall.

It’s important that you share your test results with WSU’s Health and Wellness Services so that we can contain the spread and keep our campus and community safe.

We’re counting on you to self-report so everyone can have their best semester.

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Amy Nelson

Amy Nelson graduated in 2020 with a degree in Art: I-Design. As a student, she worked with the University Marketing & Communications team as a writer and photographer. She was hired after graduation to support public health communications during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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