MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the peacetime emergency continues, many people are wondering, ‘when will things get back to normal?’
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz says the decision to begin reopening the state would heavily rely on expanded testing and contact tracing.READ MORE: Sean McClernon Identified As Driver Killed In Fiery Crash At I-35W & Lake Street Station
The governor said it’s possible Minnesota could manufacture testing swabs.
“We can’t wait a month and I would argue we can’t wait two weeks to get this testing going,” Walz said.
So far the state has done around 40 thousand tests. Gov. Walz said he wants to see around 5,000 tests a day.
“My hope is we start to see significant improvement and significant testing data by that May 4 date,” Walz said.READ MORE: Tallest Trooper Ever To Serve Among Those Added To Minnesota State Patrol's Ranks
Contract tracing is where health officials track down all of the people who have come in contact with someone who was sick. They too could be a carrier of the virus even without symptoms.
“We have a contract tracing team and what that team does is they will reach out to those individuals who are the contacts and talk to them for recommendations for quarantine,” Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease expert Kris Ehresmann explained.
Ehresmann says there are currently 100 investigators and contact tracers on the team. MDH would likely reassign health and higher education officials to the team if and when testing becomes more widespread.
“When the governor talks about ramping up contract tracing it means doing more of the same, but many more people and needing a larger team to do that,” Ehresmann said.
The contact tracing team is working 16 hours a day, seven days a week to identify anyone who may have been exposed to the virus.MORE NEWS: St. Paul Mayor: City Employees Must Get COVID Vaccine By End Of 2021
The governor’s stay at home order is set to expire on May 4.