1640 Hwy 2 Two Harbors, MN 55616 | Phone: (218) 834-8201

COVID-19 Testing for Kids and Families

COVID-19 Testing for Kids and Families

A press release went out at 1 p.m. today to announce that MDH is asking families to get tested every two weeks until end of school year. The recommendation is for all youth returning to school, sports, or other extracurricular activities. Regular testing complements other safety measures already in place, such as masking and social distancing. A new webpage with resources that schools and youth organizations can send to families to encourage testing is available. Some talking points are below.

Recommendation 

  • Minnesota Department of Health recommends that all school-age children and youth returning to school, sports, or extracurricular activities (and their families) get tested for COVID-19 every two weeks through the end of the school year.
  • This is a recommendation and not a requirement. It complements other safety measures and is NOT a replacement for mitigation strategies already in place, such as the mask mandate.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and away from others, even if you do not have symptoms. (If You Are Sick: COVID-19)

Who

  • The recommendation is for all school-age children and youth returning to school, sports, or extracurricular activities.
  • We also recommend that parents, siblings, and anyone else in the home seek out regular testing.
  • Anyone can be an asymptomatic spreader of the virus, and the potential for spread is significantly greater when interacting with people outside the home.
  • This is a recommendation and not a requirement. We understand it can be challenging to test younger children or people with special needs who have difficulty taking a saliva test.

Why

  • By getting tested every two weeks from now until the end of the school year, we hope to keep schools and sports open. Let’s do everything we can to limit the spread of COVID-19.
  • Anyone could have COVID-19 and not know it. Getting tested regularly is the best way to know that you are healthy.
  • As we return to in-person activities, we must remain vigilant. In addition to staying home when sick, social distancing, and masking up, health officials say it’s more important than ever for people to get tested regularly.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, it is essential that you stay home and away from others, even if you do not have symptoms. (If You Are Sick: COVID-19) The sooner you do this, the more likely it is that you will prevent others from being exposed to COVID-19 and needing to stay home.

How

  • Families can visit their nearest community testing site, hospital or clinic, pharmacy, or use the test at home program.
  • Testing is provided at no cost to you, and you can now schedule testing appointments for the whole family at once. (If you seek out a health care provider visit related to testing, charges may still apply for the visit.)
  • This is a recommendation and not a requirement. We understand it can be challenging to test younger children or people with special needs who have difficulty taking a saliva test.

What the State is doing

  • Since the start of the year, the number of students attending in-person classes has significantly increased, with thousands more expected to return to the classroom throughout the month of February. Governor Walz has adjusted the dials so children and youth can resume sports and other extracurricular activities.
  • Minnesota has launched an on-site testing program for all teachers and school staff.

Chelsie Huntley
Deputy, Vaccine Partners Branch
Minnesota Department of Health