Minnesota reaches goal of being capable to administer 20,000 COVID-19 tests per day
The ability to do so is thanks to those at The University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic
MINNESOTA — In April, Governor Tim Walz set a goal of being able to test 20,000 people per day in Minnesota by early June.
As of Monday, that goal has been reached.
“The reason we reached those goals was not me and me alone,” said Walz. “It was about a collaboration amongst our great institutions like The University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic and all those other health systems.”
The University and Mayo have been working hard to expand testing capabilities, offer free testing and get testing kits across the state to those who need it.
“Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota have been able to provide that backstop or that safety net so that any health care system that needs to test people in their geography or in their reach, they can do that with confidence that if they get a surge in demand, the University and Mayo Clinic will be there to help them through that,” said President of Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Dr. William Morice, M.D., Ph.D.
The more testing that is done, the more positive cases the state could see
However, Walz says the focus is on the positivity rate of those that are tested. Minnesota averages 4.4% per week.
“Whether we test 10,000, 15,000, or 5,000 the percentage of positives in that gives us a good indication of the spread of this,” said Walz.
Despite the ability to test more people, some say they are still being turned away when going to a health care facility for walk-in testing.
The Minnesota Department of Health says this may be due to some clinics only testing healthcare workers or those who are symptomatic, but Walz says this is something the state is still working to fix.
“We need to have a place where people know if you can’t get it at this health care system, this is a state-run lab or wherever it is at where you can get one because I don’t deny that is still happening,” said Walz. “It should not be happening.”
Walz says that even with the capacity to test 20,000 a day, the state has yet to test that many people in one day. He encourages people to go out and get tested.