MN Announces New COVID-19 Testing Options for Kids, Case Rate Rises to 5.2%
Minnesota’s COVID-19 seven-day case positivity rate has risen to 5.2 percent, the highest rolling average since May 8, according to data released Tuesday. A fourth surge in cases is linked to the highly transmissible delta variant of the novel coronavirus.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) also announced 3,054 new cases and three deaths from COVID-19. The figures include data from over the weekend.
“There’s no question we are in the middle of another spike,” said MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm, during a 2 p.m. briefing Tuesday.
New COVID-19 Testing Options for Kids
As cases rises, the state announced new, no-fee COVID-19 testing options for schools this year. Schools will have access to individual PCR tests, which are considered the most accurate for identifying the virus, as well as antigen tests, which are sometimes called rapid tests.
“We must use every available tool to keep our students in classrooms because we know that is best for their well-being and academic success,” said Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Heather Mueller.
Based on current levels of community spread across Minnesota, the CDC and state health officials recommend the following:
- All unvaccinated school-age children and school staff should get tested for COVID-19 at least weekly throughout the school year.
- Unvaccinated children involved in extracurricular activities or sports should be tested more frequently, officials said.
- Vaccinated students and school staff should get tested if they are experiencing symptoms or were exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
- Testing should be used in addition to other prevention strategies, such as wearing masks.
“Regular testing, along with masking and the other layers of prevention, gives our schools, students, families and educators the best chance of getting the school year off to a successful and healthy start,” said MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm in a statement to CCX News.
The state encourages all schools to create their own testing program. The Minnesota Department of Education will provide grants to support testing efforts in schools.
How Minnesotans can get a free COVID-19 test:
- Order a test through the state’s no-cost at-home COVID-19 testing program.
- Find a testing option near you through the state’s Find Testing Locations map.
- Walk-in or schedule an appointment for a test at one of the state’s no-cost community testing sites across Minnesota.