COVID-19 testing held as Hennepin County Head Start locations prepare to reopen

Head Start centers are essential lifelines for low income families. Not only do they offer pre-school classes for the kids, but they’re also resource centers for the parents.

Due to the pandemic, they’ve been closed since mid-March. Now, as August begins, they’re finally ready to reopen.

First, the centers will offer COVID-19 testing for all of the staff and families. The Parents in Community Action (PICA) worked with the state health department and the City of Brooklyn Park to set up a drive-thru testing site. On Monday, they quickly filled almost 900 slots.

The drive-thru was open to everyone in addition to the families and staff of the Head Start program.

Candee Melin of Parents In Community Action, the nonprofit that leads Head Start, says this testing was critical in reopening the school.

“We wanted to offer a testing opportunity both for our staff and our families so that they feel safe in returning to work and bring their kids to school,” she said.  

Inside the Head Start center, teachers are already getting the classrooms set. All 13 of the Head Start programs begin again next Monday, which will be a relief to the parents so they can safely return to work.