Limited supply of testing materials means testing must be focused more tightly. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) today announced that due to a national shortage of COVID-19 laboratory testing materials, the state is forced to make adjustments to its testing criteria to focus on the highest priority specimens. Health care workers and those in living settings such as long-term care will also be given high priority. The Minnesota Department of Health informed health care providers that hospitals and health care systems should assess whether they can send specimens to a commercial reference laboratory, and determine their own priorities for testing and assess whether these labs have restrictions. Limit sending specimens to the Minnesota Department of Health to those from hospitalized COVID-19 patients. At this time, MDH can also test ill health care workers and ill persons living in congregate settings. Providers should inform all patients with undiagnosed fever and/or acute respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath), even those not able to be tested, that they should self-quarantine for 7 days after illness onset, or 72 hours after resolution of fever (without taking fever-reducing medications), and improvement of respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer. Patients should seek care if their symptoms become severe. They should call ahead to health provider when possible. Patients with symptoms who are not able to be tested should isolate themselves from household and intimate contacts as much as possible. Household and intimate contacts of these individuals should limit their activities in public for 14 days after the incorporating precautions in the home, and monitor for symptoms. People who have suspect or known cases of COVID-19, but who are not severely ill, should stay home while they recover.

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