Minnesota Reopens Free COVID Testing Sites As Delta Variant Rises – WIZM 92.3FM 1410AM
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota officials are reopening four free coronavirus testing sites this week as circulation of the highly contagious delta variant renews demand for testing.
The reopened sites include the Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul and a former Department of Motor Vehicle building in Bloomington, augmenting the existing sites in the metro Brooklyn Park and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Outside the metropolitan area, the St. Cloud and Mankato sites are expected to resume testing this week.
Not all statewide community testing sites will offer Labor Day testing.
The increase in testing locations comes as cases of the virus continue to grow in the state and hospitals near full capacity, with both intensive care unit beds and hospital beds in the state. together more than 90% occupied.
St. Louis County health officials and healthcare workers said Tuesday that hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 were on the rise in the region – the vast majority of those unvaccinated. The number of intensive care patients at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth has doubled in the past two weeks, and 10 more patients were admitted to intensive care units at all health facilities in Essentia on Tuesday, a said Andrea Boehland, doctor in the emergency department of Essentia. Health.
Boehland said the capacity strain coincides with a time of year when the number of patients seeking treatment for illnesses unrelated to the virus is high. Staff constraints due to exhaustion and difficulty finding mobile health workers who had helped during outbreaks earlier in the pandemic are creating new challenges.
“What we’re experiencing this time around is people are the most valuable resource in our hospital systems – not hospital beds, not ventilators, but people,” she said. “We have a moral obligation to all of our patients. It is this sense of duty that leads us to share this situation with you and to ask for your help.
Health care workers have listed vaccination and masking in public places as the most effective ways to limit transmission and reduce strain on health systems.