MDH recommends students, staff get tested for COVID-19 weekly, offers schools free testing

The Minnesota Department of Health announced Tuesday it has updated the state's COVID-19 testing options in schools, and it recommends unvaccinated students and staff get tested weekly.

According to MDH, schools will now have a variety of testing options available to them to keep kids and staff healthy throughout the year. The Minnesota Department of Education will also provide grants to support testing efforts in schools.

This year, schools will have access to individual PCR tests, pooled PCR tests and rapid tests—both antigen and molecular. Officials say this means 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. 

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. Unvaccinated children involved in extracurricular activities or sports should be tested more frequently. 

MDH also advises that vaccinated students and school staff should get tested if they are experiencing symptoms or were exposed to someone who has COVID-19. 

Schools will be able to choose from a list of different types of tests, which can be found here.

Additionally, Minnesotans interested in getting a COVID-19 vaccine can find more information here.