COVID-19 Case Rates Rise in Northwest Suburbs, More Testing Locations Reopen
State health experts are raising concerns about increasing COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious delta variant. Wednesday, the Minnesota Department of Health reported 1,436 new cases and six deaths.
COVID-19 case rates are increasing in Hennepin County, with case rates especially high in certain northwest suburbs.
Data show higher case rates in Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, New Hope and Robbinsdale. All those cities now have more than 30 cases per 100,000 residents. Just a month ago, these case rates were in the single digits.
“The delta variant is just so much more infectious than anything we’ve dealt with COVID before,” said Dan Huff, assistant commissioner for the state’s Health Protection Bureau.
Health Officials Reopen COVID-19 Testing Sites
Minnesota Department of Health officials say they are seeing more demand for testing as infections increase. As a result, they have reopened two testing sites—one in Bloomington at a former DMV and another at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul.
The Brooklyn Park testing site at the Starlite Center remains open and is one of the most successful testing locations, health officials said. That site has seen an uptick in people coming to get the saliva test.
“We’ve had some of our highest testing numbers, and what we’ve seen, if you look at the numbers given at the Starlite Center there in Brooklyn Park, it’s doubled since a month ago,” said Huff.
Meanwhile, officials are worried about COVID-19 infections rising as the new school year gets underway. They recommend school districts follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The Minnesota Department of Health is recommending regular testing at schools for staff and students. And the state is making it easier for schools to make that happen by providing financial and testing resources. The COVID-19 testing is a volunteer program and parents must opt in for their children. The Robbinsdale School District is participating and sent parents a note Tuesday explaining the process.
Meanwhile, health experts are encouraging everyone to wear face protection indoors, regardless of vaccination status.
“The CDC recommends with the level of spread we have in Minnesota recommends indoor masking,” said Huff.