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Minnesota reaches COVID-19 testing milestone, daily capacity of 20,000 tests

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- More than half a million COVID-19 tests have been completed in Minnesota as of Monday, a milestone which Gov. Tim Walz says is thanks to a partnership with Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.

About 592,955 COVID-19 tests have been completed in the state to date, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Walz also announced that the state now has the capacity to test 20,000 people for COVID-19 each day.

“We know when Minnesota comes together as one, we can achieve near-impossible tasks,” Walz said in a news release. “I am proud of the Minnesota Department of Health’s partnership with Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota, and our state’s health systems to expand our testing capacity, allow us to more accurately track the course of the infection, and keep all Minnesotans safe.”

"We are very proud of Minnesota for reaching this milestone," Minnesota Department of Health Comissioner Jan Malcolm said in a news conference Monday afternoon. "This means we can test who we need to, where we need to, when we need to, to help people protect themselves, their loved ones and their communities. That we can identify hotspots as they are occurring and identify ways to slow the spread. To see how we're doing state wide and where we need to change course."

Walz said Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota can now provide additional testing capacity to more than 265 health care organizations in the state.

Walz said Mayo Clinic has provided infrastructure to transport specimens to labs for testing all across Minnesota, and Mayo has delivered supplies to collection sites.

Mayo Clinic has already provided more than 280,000 COVID-19 tests to Minnesotans, according to Dr. William Morice, the chair of Mayo Clinic's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and president of Mayo Clinic Laboratories.

“I’m very proud of the Mayo Clinic team who worked tirelessly to apply our global reference laboratory capabilities to ensure every Minnesotan can get COVID-19 testing when and where they need it," Morice said in a news release.

"More important than the number is that the people with testing can confidently feel that they can get tested," Morice added.

The governor added that the University of Minnesota transformed their research labs into testing facilities and the university is helping advance research to inform testing strategies.

“Thank you to the health care providers who have worked in partnership with our Administration to achieve this testing milestone,” Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan said. “Robust testing is critical to monitoring the spread of COVID-19. While there is still work to do to remove obstacles to testing for all Minnesotans, we have built a strong and collaborative statewide testing program that will help us keep all Minnesotans safe.”

Find more information on how to receive a COVID-19 test in Minnesota here.

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Nicole Valinote

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