Coronavirus: Gov. Walz to announce plan to increase testing

The governor has been eager to ramp up the state's testing.
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Gov. Tim Walz announces coronavirus 'testing breakthrough'

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Gov. Tim Walz will at a Wednesday press conference announce a plan to expand testing for the coronavirus across Minnesota.

It's been announced that Walz will be joined at the 2 p.m. news conference by representatives from the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, both of which have expanded capacity for testing.

You can watch the press conference live here.

Original story

Gov. Tim Walz will hold a 2 p.m. press conference in which he is expected to make his latest announcement on his administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The governor will provide a live update via his YouTube page, addressing residents for the second time in three days.

It comes after Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said on Tuesday that an announcement was imminent relating to the state's testing capacity.

Walz has expressed a desire for Minnesota to carry out 40,000 tests a week in order to get a better handle on the COVID-19 outbreak.

He sees being able to "test, trace and isolate" positive patients and those they've been in contact with as a crucial requirement of allowing the state to reopen some of its non-essential services.

Both the Mayo Clinic and M Health Fairview have said they have the capacity to carry out 10,000 diagnostic tests a day each, as well as thousands more antibody tests that can identify those who have previously had the virus.

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Since then, the Walz administration has been working with the health organizations on a strategy for rolling these out, in order to ensure it can be accessed by those most in need of testing.

It's expected that healthcare workers, the hospitalized, and those in congregate living settings will continue to be prioritized for testing, with Walz also suggesting those working in meat processing plants will be included, given the outbreaks underway at JBS USA in Worthington and Jennie-O in Willmar.

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