Minnesota Launches COVID-19 Home Saliva Test Pilot Program

Minnesota health officials announced a pilot program Thursday that will provide at-home COVID-19 saliva tests for residents in two dozen counties and tribal nations statewide in an effort to expand access to testing as the state experiences a surge in cases in recent weeks.

The program allows people to order a saliva test through the mail and perform the test in their own home with virtual help from a health care professional. The test will then be shipped to the state’s saliva lab in Oakdale, with results emailed within 24-48 hours.

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Minnesota Department of Health to Allow Visitors into Nursing Homes at the End of August

People wanting to visit their loved ones residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities will be able to starting August 29, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) announced Monday.

This will be the first time visitors have been allowed into long-term care facilities since March 31.

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Group Calls on Commissioner Malcolm to Resign for Failing to Address Long-Term Care Crisis

One of Minnesota’s most influential pro-life organizations has called on Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm to resign for failing to address the crisis in the state’s long-term care facilities.

As of Tuesday, COVID-19 fatalities among nursing-home residents accounted for 79 percent of Minnesota’s 1,217 total deaths. Under the threat of a legislative subpoena, Malcolm revealed in a 74-page letter to lawmakers that dozens of long-term care facilities have allowed COVID-19 patients to return to a congregate-care setting after being discharged from the hospital.

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Minnesota Hasn’t Used $6.9 Million Facility It Bought to Store Deceased Coronavirus Patients

Due to a projected surge in coronavirus fatalities, the state of Minnesota spent $6.9 million to acquire a warehouse for the “temporary storage of human remains,” but the facility has so far gone unused.

“What’s contemplated by the purchase is to buy a building where we can properly handle with dignity and respect and safety the bodies of Minnesotans who may fall victim to the coronavirus,” Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Joe Kelly said during a press conference in early May.

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Audit Finds Minnesota’s Medical Cannabis Program Lacks ‘Adequate’ Internal Controls

A new report found that the Minnesota Department of Health’s “internal controls” for its medical cannabis program “were generally not adequate to safeguard financial assets and ensure compliance with selected legal requirements.”

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