MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that all Minnesotans between the ages of 18 and 35 get a COVID-19 test right now.

MDH says it doesn’t matter if they have symptoms or a known exposure to a positive person.

It’s still a good idea, especially if they’re visiting friends and family over Thanksgiving.

“I told her I’m fairly certain I have this cause my roommate is positive so she was like we’re going to get a really good swab she did both sides of my nose” said Katie Duncan, a first year medical student at the University of Minnesota.

After testing on campus, Duncan found out she was positive for COVID-19 about a week and a half ago. She was able to schedule a next-day test and got results a day after.

“I know probably at least five people in my broader circle of friends my age, I’m 24, that have tested positive,” said Duncan.

Data from the University of Minnesota shows a spike in cases since Halloween.

This semester’s average positivity rate among students and staff was 10.2%. But this week’s was nearly double that, at 19.7%.

“We were exposed to four people who tested positive for COVID subsequently after we were with them. We were outside,” said 25-year-old Izzy Iwen of Minneapolis.

Iwen got a negative result after getting tested Tuesday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. She had to schedule three days before, but got her results within a day and says the process went smoothly.

“We still obviously wanted to do the right thing. We quarantined until the test results,” said Iwen.

Iwen was able to work from home during quarantine.

Jane Chovanec, 29, was also able to work from home after a COVID exposure.

“I looked at Walgreens and everything was booked out pretty much four or five days out,” said Chovanec.

Because of those waits, Chovanec scheduled a test with a private practice.

“Depending on where you go it can take a little while to get the results back,” she said.

That lag time is especially troublesome for people who can’t work from home, or people who live with older family members or vulnerable people.

“I was living at home with my parents at the time so I was very frantic to like get a test and I was just kind of looking for wherever had the soonest availability,” said 23-year-old Marco Moneti of Bloomington.

After finding out friends were positive, Moneti drove 35 minutes to the Fridley Walgreens for his test.

“I had to schedule a few days in advance for both, they didn’t have available testing day of,” said Moneti.

Many say they’re not just getting tested, they’re changing their lifestyles, and they’re noticing others doing it too.

“I’m certainly not leaving unless I really have to,” said Duncan.

“Most of my friends now, we aren’t really getting together anymore since we can’t especially outside,” said Iwen.

“I think there is a cutting back from going out and stuff,” said Moneti.

“I think people are being a lot more cautious which is good,” said Duncan.

The state is working to continue expanding testing options – as of Thursday you can order an at-home test that will be shipped to you.

Since opening up that option Thursday, MDH says 23,000 kits have been ordered.

To find the state’s dashboard for testing options, click here.

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Erin Hassanzadeh

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