By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Donald Trump announced Monday that the federal government will be distributing 150 million rapid COVID-19 tests to all 50 states over the next several weeks.

The rapid point of care tests were purchased from Abbott and can be performed without any lab equipment.

Fifty million of the tests will go to the most vulnerable communities, and 100 million are intended to help keep K-12 schools open.

“[It] would allow every state to, on a very regular basis, test every teacher who needs it,” Trump said.

The assistant secretary for health and human services demonstrated how to use the test that gives results within 15 minutes. It’s about the size of a credit card.

“When we just started this remember we’d go out, we’d have to find these massive laboratories with expensive equipment now we’re down to something that’s really from a different planet,” Trump said.

Here in Minnesota, more than 22,000 COVID-19 tests were administered Sunday above Gov. Walz’s “moonshot” goal of 20,000, that was set back in April.

“We know that is not enough we want to do more testing in long-term care facilities, more testing in schools,” MDH Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff said.

Before the president’s announcement, MDH infectious disease expert Kris Ehresmann said she was aware of additional testing becoming available from the federal government. But said more tests are not a simple solution to getting back to normal.

“A big part of what is necessary to be successful involves not only identifying cases early, but also making sure people are following through on guidance and we’ve certainly been hearing more and more that people are not doing that,” Ehresmann said.

State health officials say Minnesotans will soon have additional access to testing with the opening of new saliva testing locations.

They say the state should then have the capacity to do 40,000 to 50,000 tests a day.

Kate Raddatz

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