365体育投注ST. PAUL — Acknowledging "a fierce urgency" to get the economy going again, Gov. Tim Walz on Monday, April 13 spelled out in his starkest terms to date a personal protective equipment-stocking, mass testing-contingency for returning to work within the state.
Until today, nearly all forward-looking statements from state officials in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak have targeted the ability to delay and absorb a coming surge of patients.
Thus far, the state has developed a model to help predict the arrival of this surge, and implemented mitigation efforts to locate, count and stock critical missing supplies of PPE, ICU beds and ventilators.
But by calling for the state to self-engineer a Korea-style testing capacity, Walz has advanced on these talking points, answering the chorus of calls for a return to business by making that contingent on an as-yet-unknown pathway to full testing.
365体育投注"Minnesota has tested about 40,000 persons for coronavirus so far," Walz said during Monday afternoon call with reporters. "We need to be testing 40,000 a week.
"So those people who are saying to 'open the economy,' you're right. And to do so, we need to be testing 5,000 people a day... This is going to be a hard lift. Those that keep asking what's the plan to re-open, the plan to reopen is very clear: test, trace, isolate."
365体育投注The governor's plan, as such, echoes an approach supported by public health officials globally, former Obama administration health policy architect Andy Slavitt, and highlighted in a recent white paper from the conservative American Enterprise Institute.
This is the plan from and others on the best way to re-open the country. I have a lot of respect for Scott. Will add some summary, but good to read. And he’s a good Twitter follow.— Andy Slavitt @ (@ASlavitt)
365体育投注That coauthored by former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb argued that "individual states can move to (a lifting of closure of schools and businesses) when they are able to safely diagnose, treat, and isolate COVID-19 cases and their contacts."
"We have to have an accurate way to understand who is infected and who has been infected," Walz said. "Then we have to have the capacity to be able to isolate them. To do that, you need testing kits, reagents, throat swabs and PPE, all of which are experiencing shortages. One of the ways to get there is to create our own capacity here."
365体育投注Calling restaurants and bars "some of the most crowded places there are," Walz replied to a call to reopen the hurting businesses at the end of the current stay at home order by replying that "we're going to have to have those pieces in place for testing, tracing and isolation. I don't think you can set a date."
365体育投注Quickly stock-piling materials experiencing global shortages would appear to be an insurmountable challenge. Yet there are few states better positioned to self-engineer the missing materials than Minnesota.
Thanks largely to the development of tests in-house, Mayo Clinic has tested tens of thousands Minnesotans. As a federal reference laboratory, moreover, the southern Minnesota-based medical center received critical missing reagents from the federal government during this time, materials allowing it to conduct several times over as many diagnostic tests during recent weeks for its centers in Florida, Arizona and hard-hit areas like New York and New Orleans.
365体育投注Though the Rochester powerhouse may not be able to direct this added capacity entirely to its own state, it has been harmed by the shutdown as well, having last week projected a $3.1 billion shortfall for the year. Mayo is already building missing swabs and virus transport media, and has stated it expects to be able to provide population-wide serological testing within a month. This comes on top of plans by the University of Minnesota for added serological testing of its own.
The state also hosts the nation's largest maker of PPE in 3M and a robust device industry that has yet to pivot to the wartime ramp-up demanded of the governor's new position. With the state's ability to conduct business now contingent on its participation, the state's health care, academic and medical industries now have more incentive to do so than ever before.
Is this realistic, a reporter asked?
365体育投注"We're going to find out," Walz said. "Some of it is constrained by supply chain, but I've asked our people to think differently. We have a private sector. I think it's a moonshot, but the answer to our problems is certainly not going to come from a federal strategy that's not seeing this."
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365体育投注Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 hotline: 651-201-3920.
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