Minnesota Governor Encourages College Students To Get Tested for COVID-19 Before Thanksgiving

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Earlier this week, Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz announced the addition of more than a dozen new COVID-19 testing locations across the state over the next two weeks. One of the locations is Augsburg’s Minneapolis campus, which will offer free saliva testing this week and next week:

  • Wednesday, November 11 at 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 18 from noon – 6 p.m.

See A-mail for more information about on-campus testing.

All of the new statewide testing sites offer free testing, and will not require insurance.

Testing is available to anyone who wants to be tested. Students, staff, and faculty are welcome to get a test whether you have symptoms or not.

State public health officials have expanded testing availability in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday because they are especially concerned about people in the 18-35 age range. This is the group that is driving transmission rates to record highs in the state, often because many people in this age range have no symptoms and have no way of knowing they are potentially infectious to others. So, to protect family and friends, it is important for traditional college-age students to get tested in order to determine whether they are an asymptomatic carrier before heading home for Thanksgiving.

Test results are expected to be provided within a few days after testing.

  • If you have no symptoms, you do not need to quarantine while waiting for your test results.
  • If your test is positive, you will be asked to isolate for 10 days until your symptoms are better and you are no longer infectious.
  • If your test is negative, it means that you probably were not infected at the time of the test. You should continue to take precautions against COVID-19 to reduce the chances that you are exposed to someone with the virus. If you were in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you need to stay home for 14 days after your last contact with that person, even if your test result is negative. This is to avoid exposing others if your test result was a false negative. If you develop symptoms after your negative test result, you will need to get tested again.

This past week, Augsburg’s on-campus case rate again moved up to the moderate transmission range, and we continue to receive reports of positive COVID-19 cases and exposures to people with COVID-19. Augsburg already is largely operating according to Minnesota Department of Health recommendations for moderate transmission levels (“Scenario 2”). We continue to monitor the on-campus case rates to determine whether a move to Scenario 3 (high transmission level operations) will be needed.

In the meantime, the best protection for yourself as well as your friends and family is to avoid close contact by wearing masks and maintaining 6 feet of distance when gathering with others.