“COVID-19 testing remains a critical strategy as we work to keep our students in their classrooms and activities while protecting the health and safety of all students, staff and families,” said Heather Mueller, state education commissioner. “I am so grateful to our school leaders who have stepped up once again to protect their school communities, especially as our youngest Minnesotans remain ineligible for vaccination.”
At the end of September, fewer than half of districts had requested state help testing students and staff for COVID-19. State officials extended the deadline to apply for assistance by two weeks and 168 more districts applied for aid.
Schools can also request different types of COVID-19 tests, from rapid tests to more traditional spit tests and nasal swabs, from the state at no cost. About 54 percent of districts have taken advantage of this option, state data shows.
Altogether, schools districts, charters and tribal schools have asked for almost $50 million in aid to fund staff and supplies to test students for COVID-19. The state testing grand program is funded through the more than $8 billion the state received from the federal American Rescue Plan.
There are 498 school buildings statewide that have reported outbreaks, classified by state health officials as five or more infections in students and staff over a two week period.
School-age children have been the age groups with the most new COVID-19 cases since classes resumed in September. The 10- to 14-year-old age group has led the pack with a positivity rate of more than 11 percent.
A list of district that applied is below and also at: www.education.mn.gov/MDE/dse/health/covid19/health/test/