Torey Van Oot
May 6, 2022 - Politics

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz walks back COVID "after action" report plans

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

In mid-March, as COVID-19 cases fell to some of the lowest levels in months, Gov. Tim Walz touted plans for a COVID "after action" report.

  • The findings, which he said could be released by the end of the month, would serve as a "playbook for future administrations and future Minnesotans" for how to respond to future waves.
Audrey Kennedy
Apr 14, 2022 - COVID

Minneapolis Public Schools to lift mask mandate

Illustration of a school bus wearing a mask.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Minneapolis Public School students will no longer be required to wear masks, starting next week.

Driving the news: The district announced it's ending its mask mandate Thursday, just days after St. Paul Public Schools moved to drop its own in response to declining COVID-19 cases.

Torey Van Oot
Apr 13, 2022 - COVID

St. Paul Public Schools to drop mask mandate

Illustration of a school crossing sign wearing a mask.
Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Masks will be optional for St. Paul Public Schools students starting next week.

Driving the news: The city's school board voted 6-1 Tuesday to drop the district-wide mask mandate as long as case levels remain low, the Pioneer Press reports. The change takes effect Monday.

Torey Van Oot
Mar 28, 2022 - COVID

Minnesota offers free home rapid tests instead of mail-in PCR program

Illustration of an arrow made out of cotton swabs.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Minnesota is phasing out its at-home PCR testing program.

What's new: The state's home saliva test partnership with Vault Health ends March 31.

St. Paul schools to keep mask mandate in place

Illustration of an apple wearing a covid mask.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Masks will stay on in St. Paul Public Schools.

Driving the news: The city's school board voted Tuesday night to continue a mask mandate for students and staff, The Pioneer Press reports.

Torey Van Oot
Mar 21, 2022 - News

Minnesota prepares to close more COVID-19 testing sites as cases drop

Photo illustration of Minnesota Governor Tim Walz with lines radiating from him.
Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

As COVID cases continue to fall, Minnesota is preparing to further shift into an "endemic" phase of pandemic management.

What's happening: State officials are finalizing plans to start to close more community testing and vaccination sites "with the ability to pop them out almost immediately should we need them again," Gov. Tim Walz told Axios Thursday.

Torey Van Oot
Mar 16, 2022 - COVID

Where Minnesota's $200 vaccine incentive for kids was most popular

Data: Minnesota Department of Health; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

Minnesota's recent $200 COVID-19 vaccine incentive program for families of kids ages 5-11 was most popular in counties with comparatively high rates for the cohort.

Why it matters: Just 36% of Minnesota kids 5-11 are fully vaccinated, per MDH data, a rate much lower than other age groups. The incentives aim to boost those numbers.

Torey Van Oot
Mar 3, 2022 - COVID

Minnesota COVID mask guidance, mapped

Data: CDC; Map: Axios Visuals

Most of the Twin Cities metro meet the benchmarks for "low" levels of COVID-19 that don't prompt universal masking recommendations, per the new CDC guidelines released last week.

  • Hennepin County remains in the "medium" category, meaning the CDC recommends high-risk people talk to their doctors about whether to wear a face covering.
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