State says "at-home" saliva testing kits have been overwhelmingly popular

Department of Health also issues another warning: Just because you were tested this week does not mean you should gather for Thanksgiving
At-Home COVID Test
At home COVID test includes a Zoom call with a health professional Photo credit (Getty Images / Ridofranz)

State Health department officials say the COVID-19 "at-home" saliva testing kits have been overwhelmingly popular since the program became available a few weeks ago.

Assistant Commissioner Dan Huff says they've mailed out 210,000 test kits so far.

“We are limiting or capping the daily amount of these tests to be sent out at 12,500,” Huff tells WCCO. “And that is really to maintain a turnaround time because we know how important it is that once you order a test, you want it to be delivered the next day.”

Huff admits there were a few glitches at the outset, with people having to wait a few days to receive their tests, but he says all is on track now.

Department of Health Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann says simply getting a test this week isn't a free pass to gathering with others outside of your immediate household for Thanksgiving.

“If you had been tested two weeks ago and tested negative and then committed to quarantining for 14 days and your whole family did that, that might be a different story,” Ehresmann says. “But a test is only as good as the day of the test. So if you're negative, and you were tested on Sunday, you could easily be positive Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. That isn't a means to safely gather.”

Minnesota is reporting 38 COVID-19 deaths and more than 6,000 positive cases today.