MN health officials plan target COVID-19 testing for ages 18-35

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The idea stems from data showing that specific age group makes up the largest amount of coronavirus cases in our state.

MINNESOTA, USA — As wide spread COVID-19 transmissions continue to plague communities across Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz and the state health department are looking to roll out a new rapid test initiative, focused on one age group: 18 to 35.

“We’re doing a lot of planning right now on how we could pursue this strategy and the specifics of which test might best lend themselves to this,” said Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm. 

The idea stems from data showing that specific age group makes up the largest amount of coronavirus cases in our state. Data shows people between the ages of 18 and 35 have more than 43,000 confirmed cases.

The health department says many of those people are asymptomatic.

“There are a lot of people circulating in the community who’ve been exposed who don’t know it, don’t know they’re positive and are spreading the virus to others unknowingly,” said Commissioner Malcolm. 

They say the goal is to provide a rapid test with results available in 15 minutes or less, sending those who are positive into quarantine to help break the chain of transmission.

RELATED: Live updates: MDH reports 1,916 new COVID cases, 19 deaths

“This is just a strategy to figure out how can we direct some additional testing resources to that group through some of the saliva testing sites that we’ve set up,” said Malcolm. 

While it’s unclear which rapid testing route the state plans to take, health officials say this sort of approach will put Minnesota ahead of the game in the ight against COVID.

“We are piloting the use of some of those rapid tests now to see what we can learn about kind of the best applications for that specific rapid turnaround test,” said Commissioner Malcolm. 

A plan for rapid testing among this particular age group is coming at a time when there’s actually “Good” news when it comes to COVID cases – on college campuses. After a surge in cases at the beginning of the year, cases have lowered, and are holding steady this month.

KARE 11’s coverage of the coronavirus is rooted in Facts, not Fear. Visit kare11.com/coronavirus for comprehensive coverage, find out what you need to know about the Midwest specifically, learn more about the symptoms, and see what businesses are open as the state slowly lifts restrictions. Have a question? Text it to us at 763-797-7215. And get the latest coronavirus updates sent right to your inbox every morning. Subscribe to the KARE 11 Sunrise newsletter here. Help local families in need: www.kare11.com/give11

The state of Minnesota has set up a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.




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