Minnesota has 1,700 Frozen Samples Waiting on Coronavirus Testing but Tests are in Short Supply

Walz says he is hearing the same thing from other governors.

Governor Tim Walz says he is deeply concerned there is not enough testing available in Minnesota for officials to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

As of Wednesday, the governor says there are 1,700 frozen, untested samples waiting to be tested for COVID-19.

In recent days, state officials, along with other leaders around the country, have said the tests are in short supply. Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Health said it was narrowing its requirements for testing for the COVID-19 virus due the shortage. Now, health leaders will give high priority to hospitalized patients, ill health care workers, and ill people in congregate living situations, like long-term care facilities.

During a Wednesday briefing, Trump downplayed concerns over a lack of tests, saying they are working to fix a broken system set up by past administrations.

Walz was critical of the testing setup speaking Wednesday, saying the model the government has used — using two large labs and setting up 14 pod locations for the most affected areas — has left Minnesota with very limited testing abilities.

“I have to tell you this as Governor of Minnesota,” explained Walz. “I watch a news conference and they tell us we have testing capacity. I am telling you we don’t have testing capacity.”

Walz says he is hearing the same thing from other governors.

“I’m deeply concerned this centralized testing regime has disrupted the supply chain for those critical elements for our testing and they’re not there,” Walz added. “We have 25,000 tests for 330 million people. 52 million people in South Korea had 275,000.”

However, in a conference call with reporters, Kris Ehresman of the Minnesota Department of Health said that while the lack of testing is a concern, regardless of a test, everyone should focus on preventing the spread of the disease.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “If you’re not hospitalized, if you’re not a health care worker, you’re not in a congregate setting, the laboratory confirmation doesn’t matter. What matters is that you and your household is staying out of the public.”

So far, 2,762 COVID-19 tests have been performed with 77 cases coming back positive in Minnesota. Wisconsin has had 106 positive cases of the disease.

In recent days, the Mayo Clinic has developed its own tests and has performed hundreds of its test from patients across the country.

Categories: Coronavirus, Coronavirus-MN, Health, Minnesota News