TWIN CITIES, MN — Minnesota health officials are now asking anyone who is between ages 18 to to 35 to get tested for COVID-19. In Minnesota, researchers are finding that the virus is being disproportionately spread by young people — specifically between those ages.
"We are strongly encouraging people between the ages of 18-35 to get tested now, especially if you are in school & heading home for winter break," the Minnesota Department of Health tweeted Friday.
"We encourage anyone planning to see family over the holiday to get tested."
Minnesota hospitals are reaching their capacity to treat COVID-19 as the state sees record-setting highs in new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Minnesota's neighboring states have the highest infection coronavirus rates in the U.S., and Minnesota's own case positivity rate is above 10 percent. That is double the level at which COVID-19 spread is considered controllable, according to state officials.
"Minnesota is in a dangerous phase of the pandemic with a dramatic jump in new cases," said Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm in a statement earlier this week.
"We've seen in other states how bad things can get when you have this kind of growth, and that's why it's critical that we take the right actions now to slow the spread of this disease. These focused actions taken by Governor Walz are designed to address some of the hottest of the hot spots we've seen and reduce the burden on our health care system and the heroes providing care to all of us."
On Friday, 5,552 new cases of COVID were reported, along with 46 deaths.
Starting Friday, new statewide restrictions aimed at reducing the virus spread will go into effect.