The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) announced updates Wednesday to Minnesota’s statewide education testing program.
Schools will now have a variety of testing options available to them as they work to develop local testing programs to keep kids and staff healthy, safe and in their classrooms. MDE will also provide grants to support testing efforts in schools.
This school year, schools will have access to individual PCR tests, pooled PCR tests and rapid tests—both antigen and molecular. Districts, charter schools, tribal schools, and nonpublic schools will be able to assess which tests work best for their school community and have autonomy in developing their individual testing program. Offering testing in schools is strongly recommended given the rise in Delta variant cases.
Based on current levels of community spread across Minnesota, the CDC and MDH recommend that all unvaccinated school-age children and school staff get tested for COVID-19 at least weekly throughout the school year. If they are involved in extracurricular activities or sports they should be tested more frequently.