Minnesota quietly dropped weekly COVID testing mandate

St. Paul, MN (AP) — Minnesota state government employees who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 are no longer required to take weekly tests for the virus in order to remain in the workplace.

The requirement that came into effect in September 2021 meant that thousands of employees took tests every week. Those who did not comply were subject to suspensions or other disciplinary action.

A state official said the requirement was waived due to the evolving nature of the virus.

“While it was common to have broad and uniform precautionary measures at the start of the pandemic, the pandemic has reached a point where risk assessments and public health precautions related to COVID-19 are now more circumstantial. specific to individuals and communities,” said Patrick Hogan. , spokesperson for the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget.

He said agencies can always adopt their own procedures. And, a small number of state workers in healthcare facilities are still bound by federal vaccination rules that took hold in January.

Without publicity, Governor Tim Walz’s administration rescinded the policy in late May, Minnesota Public Radio News reported.

The state has not compiled compliance data with the now-expired immunization and testing policy since November. Information available last fall showed that 75% of workers subject to the rule provided proof that they were vaccinated and the rest had to take tests in the weeks they planned to be in the office.

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