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As demand for COVID tests continues to surge, CentraCare says it has paused tests for people who don't have symptoms. 

The central Minnesota health care system said on Friday it's doing this due to the "significant increase in demand" for testing and a low supply of testing supplies and staff. It went into effect that same day.

Tests are paused for those who do not have symptoms, including: back-to-school testing, return-to-work testing, daycare testing, pre-travel and event testing, and COVID-19 confirmation tests. 

Instead, CentraCare encourages people to use an at-home COVID test or find a community testing site (you can find them here). 

Those who are experiencing COVID symptoms can still get tested at CentraCare and Carris Health locations. It will also continue to provide long-term care testing and pre-procedure testing. 

"CentraCare will prioritize our testing resources for when medically necessary and to meet the needs of our highest risk groups, doing so in the most careful and equitable manner," the health care system said. 

The hope is this pause will be temporary. 

CentraCare encourages people to continue to wear a mask, get vaccinated, physically distance and wash hands. 

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