ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - While recent data from the Minnesota Department of Health shows a drop in COVID-19 testing, Governor Tim Walz says it's still possible to be doing 5,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests per day by May 4, the day his stay-at-home order is scheduled to expire.
Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said this week's drop in testing can be attributed to the holiday weekend. Walz said people should look at the trend line again next week.
"You should be able to quote those numbers and see a change," he said.
He says due to resources like the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota, he believes Minnesota can become an "an outlier in the country" by ramping up testing.
"We're going to at least shoot for it, because otherwise you're sending people back out there with chance to give this thing another foothold and not only is it dangerous to people - all of the sacrifices that we made could be eaten up very, very quickly."
Amid the pandemic, Walz has pushed for increased testing, saying it will be the stepping stone to help Minnesota return to a state of normalcy.
"It does us no good to send everybody back to work and get everybody sick," said Walz. "What does do us good is be able to send people back to work that 1) may be immune because they've had it 2) they've just been tested and they're symptom-free and 3) we have the resources necessary should someone get sick that it doesn't become a hotspot."