BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz toured what will become the state's first public test-to-treat center in Brooklyn Park. High-risk Minnesotans who test positive for COVID-19 at the site can receive a prescription for treatment.
"From the time you walk through the door, to the test, your results, your consultation, to getting over to the Target or The Cub Foods could be less than an hour," Walz said Thursday.
The treatment offered at the Starlite Center is the antiviral pill called Paxlovid. It's been shown to drastically reduce the chances of severe illness from COVID-19 if it's taken within a few days of the first symptoms.
A patient who tests positive can be evaluated by medical staff to determine if a prescription makes sense.
"When you put those all in one location . . . you improve the likelihood someone can get a life-saving treatment," Senior Advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Dr. Cameron Webb said.
There will also be test-to-treat sites opening in Duluth and Moorhead. Those open next week.
Minnesota's COVID-19 cases are still above the health department's "high risk" threshold, but wastewater data shows they may be coming down.
Health officials continue to stress the importance of vaccinations, boosters, and treatment options.
The tests and treatment are free as part of a federal partnership.
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