Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced "a pretty massive expansion of testing" in his state on Monday, and a new public-private partnership that will make results available in 24 to 48 hours.
Walz said the Minneapolis Convention Center was open for testing, and that the state was partnering with the National Guard to open 11 additional sites in the next seven days. It is also opening a site at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.
The governor said his state has "reached a very dangerous phase in the pandemic" and said his focus on testing is based on "proven infectious disease control by testing, isolation, contact tracing, containment."
During the morning news conference, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm displayed the saliva test kit that will be used at the newly-opened testing sites and called it "easy, quick, pain-free."
Malcolm said the state was partnering with private healthcare company Vault Health, which is opening a test processing site in Minnesota "to speed up the process."
Walz highlighted the records on infection rates, hospitalization and deaths set in the state last week and called the deaths "avoidable."
He specifically implored 18-34 year-olds to stop gathering.
Unfortunately, this virus is using that as the transmission method and where you are gathering, it is going," Walz said.
Walz said 23 counties in the state are part of a pilot program for in-home saliva testing.