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FDA approves new ventilator; Walz continues to push for more COVID-19 testing

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- There is some good news from officials on Minnesota's response to the pandemic.

On Wednesday, during Governor Walz's briefing he informed the state that the FDA has approved a new ventilator, created by the University of Minnesota.

"Aimed at helping clinicians in settings were you can't usually get a ventilator. It's called the "Coventor." It's the first of its kind to be authorized for use under FDA's emergency COVID authority. It was funded by the huge rapid response grant, that spurs innovation around treating the virus," Walz said.

The device fits on a desk top.

"The Coventor will be relatively inexpensive to manufacture specifications will be put out in an open source online. Allowing other manufactures to begin their regulatory production process world wide," Walz said.

The governor also reiterated his goal of wanting to test at least 5,000 people a day before May 4th; which is the day the states stay at home order is scheduled to end.

"Testing is going to be the component on the reopening up," Walz said.

However, data shows the testing rate dropped since last month, prompting the question whether the governor's goal is realistic.

In addition, Walz said states can no longer rely on federal funding for testing, but he believes Minnesota will make a way.

"I am going to push my team. I am going to push these resources. I am going to push Mayo Clinic, to lean into this. Because to do anything less is going to have us stuck in this place that is unsustainable and we can't get people back as fast."

KaMaria Braye

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