Minn. Gov. Walz says more free COVID-19 at-home tests are available
The four additional tests can be ordered online
ST. PAUL — Gov. Tim Walz announced Tuesday, Nov. 15, that the state will send another round of free COVID-19 at-home tests to Minnesotans who want them ahead of the holidays.
“Each of us can do our part to protect the health of our loved ones this Thanksgiving — taking a COVID test is one of the best ways to do that,” Walz said in a statement. “Thanks to this program, all Minnesota households have the option to test before gathering with friends and family for the holiday.”
The four additional tests can be ordered by visiting mn.gov/covid19.
The state last made more free tests available this summer after a similar federal program ended because of a lack of funding. State officials have said Minnesota’s free at-home testing program will continue until the state runs out of funding.
Residents also can get tested at state clinics, health care providers, and pharmacies. Most insurance plans also cover the cost of at-home tests.
Reported cases of COVID-19 have been relatively flat for months, with about 720 new infections recorded each day. That count is not a true picture of the outbreak, because most people now test at home and do not report their results.
The amount of coronavirus genetic material in Twin Cities waste water has increased slightly over the past few weeks, according to the Metropolitan Council. Health officials have anticipated a fall surge in cases, and nearly all of the coronavirus circulating is related to the highly contagious omicron variant.
As of last week, there were 480 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state. Nearly 1.7 million COVID-19 cases have been reported to the state since March 2020, and 13,559 Minnesotans have died.
About 67% of eligible residents have completed their initial round of COVID-19 vaccinations, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. However, only 15% are up-to-date on their shots, which now include an omicron-specific booster.
Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan urged residents to do everything they can to slow the spread of the coronavirus while gathering with families over the holiday season.
“These additional tests are free, easy to order, and will be delivered to your doorstep,” Flanagan said in a statement. “Testing for COVID is one simple way to stay healthy around the holidays.”