Minnesota schools step up COVID-19 testing, despite some parental pushback

At least 178 schools or districts have taken up Minnesota’s offer of free COVID-19 test kits for students – a demographic seeing higher pandemic infection rates and lower vaccination coverage.

The requests came in the two weeks since the Minnesota Department of Health offered saliva test kits to middle schools, high schools and sports organizations to increase surveillance of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Twenty clubs representing six sports have requested 1,013 kits as well.

While risks of serious illness remain low in children, Minnesota health officials are concerned that they spread SARS-CoV-2 to others who are more vulnerable. More infectious viral variants have hospitalized younger Minnesotans, though, and could present more threats to children.

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