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Minnesota launches COVID-19 test-to-treat sites in Duluth, Moorhead, Brooklyn Park

The sites will test residents for COVID-19 and those deemed to be at high risk for developing severe symptoms could get a prescription for Paxlovid.

File: Walz DECC covid-19 testing file
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, left, chats with Kraig Rudstrom and Peter Hannegra at the COVID-19 testing site at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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ST. PAUL — Minnesota will launch COVID-19 test-to-treat sites next week in Brooklyn Park, Duluth and Moorhead, where those who test positive for the virus and are at high risk of developing severe symptoms can receive medication at the same location.

Gov. Tim Walz announced the sites on Wednesday, June 8. He said that rapid antigen tests would be made available at the three sites at no cost to Minnesota residents. And those who test positive and are eligible could receive Paxlovid to reduce symptoms of COVID-19. Additional sites are likely to launch around the state in the coming weeks, he said.

The federal government partnered with the state to open sites, Walz said, and is providing staffing and funding to transition the locations from community testing sites to test-to-treat locations.

“I am proud to be one of the first states to partner with the federal government to offer more test-to-treat options to people who need them,” Walz said. “We will continue to make sure all Minnesotans have options when it comes to testing for and treating COVID-19. It is important when someone tests positive for COVID-19, they have immediate access to treatment options.”

The hope for a permanent, low-level rate of the virus is one that envisions intense need for local case surveillance, isolated periods of regional masking, ongoing protection of the vulnerable, and seasonal vaccination against new variants.

Initially, those who test positive and are deemed eligible to receive Paxlovid will get a prescription to fill at a nearby pharmacy. The state is working to adjust prescription policies to allow on-site dispensing at the testing sites.

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The Brooklyn Park location is set to open Friday, June 10, followed by the Moorhead location June 13 and the Duluth site on June 14.

MORE FROM DANA FERGUSON:
Several incumbent state legislators, particularly in the Senate, edged out competitors with more extreme views on COVID-19, election security and more.

Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter  @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email  dferguson@forumcomm.com.

Related Topics: CORONAVIRUSCOVID-19 VACCINE
Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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