Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz announces coronavirus 'testing breakthrough'

The governor is speaking live at 2 p.m.
Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz has announced a strategy to test "all symptomatic people" for the coronavirus in Minnesota, as well as a plan to isolate confirmed cases and expand contact tracing.

The governor, with the aid of the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, says the state now has the capacity to test up to 20,000 Minnesotans a day, which he says will help "control the pandemic and reopen Minnesota's society."

At a 2 p.m. press conference, Gov. Walz says this should allow Minnesota to test at a rate higher than anywhere else in the country and the possibly the world.

But he said that this expanded testing will not do its job unless Minnesotans continue to follow social distancing guidelines.

"When Minnesota faces a challenge, we rise up – together,” Governor Walz said. "I’m proud to partner with Minnesota’s innovative health care systems and leading research institutions to pioneer how states can begin to move forward amid COVID-19."

Describing it as a "breakthrough for rapid, widespread testing of COVID-19 in Minnesota," the partnership between the state, Mayo and U of M is designed to ensure everyone in Minnesota with symptoms of the coronavirus can access a test, compared to the current system where it's prioritized for the hospitalized, healthcare workers and those in congregate living settings.

It will be funded by $36 million from the COVID-19 Minnesota Fund, and will see 20,000 molecular (diagnostic) tests and 15,000 serology (antibody) tests available a day.

The Mayo and U of M will create a "central lab" to accommodate expanded testing, and a "virtual command center" that will coordinate with health systems across the state "to monitor daily testing needs and coordinate rapid responses to outbreaks."

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Department of Health, Mayo and U of M will expand its contact tracing in an effort to limit outbreaks by ensuring anyone linked to positive test cases are isolating for the required period.

"The partnership will help to identify and respond to emerging “hotspots” of infection," the announcement said. "They will collect data on prevalence, geographic distribution, and barriers to care for the virus, and they will conduct groundbreaking research on COVID-19 to assure that tests are applied according to the best emerging science."

There will also be "intensive testing" of vulnerable populations, including care home residents, the homeless, healthcare workers, communities of color, American Indian populations, and other critical workers.

Next Up

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day 2020?

Most services will not be running on Thursday and unlike most years, many stores will be closed, too.


How a turkey's brush with celebrity in Bloomington came to a tragic end

DNR: if you care about wild animals, stop feeding them

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.


Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.


4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.


Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.


At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said


Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Gov. Walz gives update on state's coronavirus response

He is speaking alongside several other state leaders and the Ecolab CEO.

Governor Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Walz to announce plan to increase testing

The governor has been eager to ramp up the state's testing.

Tim Walz modeling

Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz gives his latest coronavirus update

The governor is expected to address Minnesota's long-term care crisis.

Governor Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Walz to provide update in Thursday press conference

He is expected to announce an extended, but loosened Stay at Home order.

Governor Tim Walz

Coronavirus: Gov. Walz to provide latest update at Monday press conference

It's possible that a statement on elective surgeries will be forthcoming.