One more step in the right direction. Gov. Tim Walz has announced a strategy to test “all symptomatic people” for Covid-19 in Minnesota, as well as a plan to isolate confirmed cases and expand contact tracing. The governor, with the aid of the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, says the state now has the capacity to test up to 20,000 Minnesotans a day, which he says will help “control the pandemic and reopen Minnesota’s society.”
Gov. Walz says this should allow Minnesota to test at a rate higher than anywhere else in the country and the possibly the world. Wow! That’s very encouraging.
But he said that this expanded testing will not do its job unless Minnesotans continue to follow social distancing guidelines.
“When Minnesota faces a challenge, we rise up – together,” Governor Walz said. “I’m proud to partner with Minnesota’s innovative health care systems and leading research institutions to pioneer how states can begin to move forward amid COVID-19.”
Describing it as a “breakthrough for rapid, widespread testing of COVID-19 in Minnesota,” the partnership between the state, Mayo and U of M is designed to ensure everyone in Minnesota with symptoms of the coronavirus can access a test, compared to the current system where it’s prioritized for the hospitalized, healthcare workers and those in congregate living settings.
There will also be “intensive testing” of vulnerable populations, including care home residents, the homeless, healthcare workers, communities of color, American Indian populations, and other critical workers.