Minnesota National Guard COVID-19 Information
Community-Based Testing Sites
|Location||Hours of Operation||End of Mission|
|Inver Grove Heights||M-F: 1100-1800||31-Mar-22|
|Cottage Grove||Th-M: 1100-1800||27-Feb-22|
|St. Cloud||M-F: 1100-1800||31-Mar-22|
|Albert Lea||Th-Sat: 1100-1800||31-Mar-22|
Due to alternate requirements of these sites, testing times and dates are subject to change.
The Minnesota National Guard is supporting ongoing COVID-19 response efforts including COVID-19 testing support, long-term care assistance, planning and logistics support to state agencies in coordination with the State Emergency Operations Center and the Minnesota Department of Health. We remain ready to respond, as needed, to assist Minnesotans.
22NOV2021: Governor Tim Walz has activated the Minnesota National Guard to serve as skilled-nursing “rapid response teams” to support healthcare facilities experiencing severe staffing shortages.
“Our force is highly adaptive and with training will assist Minnesota’s healthcare community in responding to healthcare staffing shortages,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Shawn Manke, the Minnesota National Guard’s Adjutant General.
Over the next seven days, 400 citizen-Soldiers and Airmen will train as certified nursing assistants and temporary nursing aides to support this activation. The Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota National Guard medical staff will provide the training.
10NOV2021: Minnesota National Guard Provides 14 service members to serve as temporary nursing assistants at a second alternate care site.
02NOV2021: The state’s first alternate care site opened with Minnesota National Guard support as temporary nursing assistants.
25OCT2021: Three rapid testing sites supported my Minnesota service members open in Inver Grove Heights, Wadena and Hibbing.
20OCT2021: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announces further expansion of rapid testing at sites across Minnesota. The state launches new sites in Stillwater, Crookston and Hutchinson all supported by the Minnesota National Guard.
28JAN2021: The Minnesota National Guard began assisting the State of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Health at 10 community vaccination sites in Minnesota. For information about community COVID-19 vaccination in Minnesota, visit https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine.
Minnesota National Guard psychological health coordinators provide crisis response 24/7 to service members and families: 651-282-4029
Minnesota National Guard personal financial counselors provide financial counseling to service members and families: 612-297-0295, 218-341-3617 or 612-849-3657
Questions and Answers
Q: Is there the ability for a Reserve member to seek waiver of monthly Tricare Reserve Select premiums?
A: Since members must pay monthly premiums that represent 28 percent of the cost of the coverage by law, TRS premiums cannot be waived. However, to address concerns that members of the Reserve component may be unable to pay the monthly TRS premiums due to the COVID-19 emergency, if the TRICARE contractor is unsuccessful in collecting the premium at the beginning of the month from the member's bank account or credit card on file, the contractor will delay terminating the coverage until 90 days after the date the COVID-19 emergency has ended.
Q: What happens if a Reserve component member cannot pay the monthly, or accumulated, Tricare Reserve Select premiums?
A: Reserve component members are strongly encouraged to continue to pay their premiums each month, if possible, as unpaid premiums accumulate each month and cannot be waived. If not fully paid within 90 days after the end date of the COVID-19 emergency period as determined by the Director, DHA, the TRS coverage will be terminated RETROACTIVE to the last premium paid-through date. If any TRICARE payments were made for those uncovered dates of service, the TRICARE contractor will be required to recoup the payments.
Q: I have full-time SGLI coverage because I am scheduled to drill at least 12 times a year but I am unable to drill because of the pandemic. Will I lose my SGLI coverage?
A: No. Under existing policy, Reserve Component members will not lose their SGLI, TSGLI or Family SGLI coverage because they were unable to drill or perform Annual Training due to COVID-19 and, therefore, didn't pay their premiums from their inactive or active duty pay. Similar to members whose drills are excused, rescheduled or grouped together in some months throughout the year, your coverage will continue even in months where you did not earn pay. You should expect, however, that any missed premiums, will be deducted in a lump-sum once you return to a pay status.
Q: I receive one or more special or incentive pays based on the hazardous or other specific duties I perform in my National Guard unit. Right now, some of our drill periods are being cancelled, rescheduled, deferred or excused and some are being conducted virtually. If I'm not able to meet the performance requirements for my pay, will I be able to qualify for a waiver too?
A: Yes. Service secretaries have the authority to waive the performance requirements for Reserve Component members as they have for active component members. Therefore, as long as RC members are otherwise eligible for their special and incentive pays, the Service secretaries have the authority to waive the performance requirements so that RC members can continue to receive their pay. Contact your chain of command to find out if you qualify for a waiver and whether you need to take action to obtain one.
Q: I have resources I'd like to donate to the state of Minnesota that could be used in the fight against COVID-19, will the Minnesota National Guard take them?
A: Donations of resources are being coordinated by the State Emergency Operations Center, please email all inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What should I do if I'm a soldier/airman and have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been recommended to quarantine or isolate myself due to potential exposure to COVID-19?
A: If you have been tested for COVID-19, been exposed or suspect you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you are currently sick and exhibiting symptoms, contact your chain of command to report your condition and for additional guidance. Follow all guidance from local health and government officials. Do not leave quarantine or isolation to report to your unit.
Q: Why are National Guard Soldiers and Airmen deployed/ preparing to deploy, while we face a crisis at home?
A: As an operational reserve force, the National Guard is critical to the National Defense Strategy. Without the National Guard, the US military would not be capable of meeting its global demand. The Minnesota National Guard is called upon to apply its unique skills and meet the challenges of new threats, as other regions become more volatile. We are ready to meet the increasing needs of our state and nation to support and defend its citizens.
Q: My son/daughter is a basic training/ AIT. Is he/she in training? When will he/she get home?
A: As of March 16, all Department of Defense service members were directed to stop official travel. Your son/daughter's chain of command at their Army/Air school house has the most immediate information on next steps for your service member during this fluid situation. Keep checking their official social media pages, and keep in touch with your son/daughter.
Q: Is the Minnesota National Guard restricting M-DAY (traditional) Soldiers and Airmen from traveling when they are NOT in a duty status?
A: The Minnesota National Guard has no authority to restrict movement of our traditional service members. However, we ask that soldiers and airmen keep their chain of command informed about any recent travel.
Q: What if I have a school reservation?
A: The Department of Defense has suspended all movement for functional training, DMOS transition/qualification and primary military education courses across the Army beginning immediately until May 11, 2020.
Q: Is there a freeze in recruiting?
A: There is not currently a freeze in recruiting prospective members into the Minnesota National Guard. To make an appointment with an Army National Guard recruiter, go to https://www.nationalguard.com and click on "get started" and a local recruiter will contact you. To make an appointment with an Air National Guard recruiter, go to www.goang.com and click on "apply now" and a local recruiter will contact you.
Q. Will COVID-19 impact GI Bill program eligibility or impact GI Bill benefits?
A. Most students will not see a change in their benefits and should continue to receive payments as normally scheduled. Updates to education policy and messages regarding COVID-19 impacts will be published on the Minnesota National Guard Education and Incentives Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/educationandincentives.
How you can help
- Individuals who have small quantities of new, unopened and unused personal protective equipment (PPE) to donate to COVID-19 response efforts should contact their county or tribal emergency manager. Examples of recommended PPE items are gowns, masks, respirators, face shields and gloves. (Please note: emergency managers cannot accept opened or used PPE.) Find your local emergency manager using this interactive map.
- Other than PPE items, donations of supplies and goods are discouraged. Cash donations to the non-profit of your choice are the best donation.
- Individuals who would like to volunteer should contact an organization registered with the Minnesota Voluntary Organization Active in Disaster (MnVOAD).
- Many blood drives have been canceled, impacting the supply. Blood donation centers have the highest standards of safety and infection control. To find where you can donate blood, visit the Minnesota Red Cross.
- Businesses who would like to offer resources, supplies or personnel to COVID-19 response efforts should email email@example.com. Businesses will be contacted if there is a need for the identified resources.