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Coronavirus: Announcement on testing expected in coming days

The Walz Administration has been working on testing with Mayo Clinic and M Health Fairview.

An announcement is expected to be made this week about the rollout of more testing for the coronavirus in Minnesota.

During Tuesday's media briefing, Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said Minnesotans can expect more news on the state's testing capacity in the coming days.

Both the Mayo Clinic and M Health Fairview have both announced in the past week that they have the capacity to carry out the 40,000 tests a week sought by Gov. Tim Walz, via a combination of diagnostic and antibody tests.

The governor said that he was hoping to release a strategy this week for expanding testing using these resources, and Malcolm suggested that this is now imminent.

She said that she understands there are frustrations that it is taking time, but said there's a difference between organizations like the Mayo saying they have the capacity, and actually rolling it out across the state.

"The added capacity being built, having it is one thing, getting it to where it most needs to be is another part," she said.

"I get people are frustrated," she continued, before adding: "What we've seen is a real patchwork quilt of where there is need and where there is supply."

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It is believed that the Department of Health would continue to prioritize the hospitalized, healthcare workers, and those in congregate living settings for testing, while Walz has suggested that those working in meat production facilities will also be included given the outbreak at the JBS USA pork plant in Worthington.

It comes after just 847 tests were conducted across Minnesota in the 24 hours that ended 4 p.m. Monday, the second lowest number carried out in a single day going back to at least March 29.

Malcolm said that while Minnesota's deaths and case numbers continue to rise, we're not seeing the exponential growth that other states and countries have seen, saying it's "growing so far in a measured way that is not exceeding our capacity to respond."

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