ST. PAUL -- Governor Tim Walz, the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and the Minnesota Department of Health rolled out a new plan to increase COVID-19 testing capacity Wednesday.

During an update from the Emergency Operations Center Walz announced the plan to test all symptomatic people, isolate confirmed cases, emphasize vulnerable populations, and expand public health surveillance.

When you hear someone went to the hospital and has symptoms and can't get a test, those are horrific situations. Mainly for the person individually and the treatment that they could get, but it also talks about the spread of this.

MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm says phase one of the plan is ramping up the number of tests being run to hit a goal of as many as 20,000 diagnostic tests and 15,000 serology tests per day.

This is an agreement between the major hospital systems in the state to all sign onto these priority goals and to work collectively, not just individually, but as part of a cohesive whole with the need for central lab capacity to support and augment the current capacity that exists in the health systems.

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This first phase is being funded by $36 million from the state’s COVID-19 fund. The next phase will include analyzing the test results to work toward treatment and prevention options.

The announcement follows the largest single-day jump in fatalities and new confirmed cases in the state for a total of 179 and 2,721 respectively.


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