The state of Minnesota remains under a stay-at-home order through at least May 4.  The big question is, when is the time to begin safely reopening the economy?

Earlier this week, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz was asked that very question and said he wouldn't even consider it until the state could successfully process 5,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests daily, with ample antibody testing capacity as well.

That seemed like an unachievable goal as the state had only processed a total of 40,242 COVID-19 tests as of April 15.

However, in an interview conducted shortly after Gov. Walz's mandate, Dr. William Morice, chair of the Department of the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Mayo Clinic says the Mayo Clinic can help make that a reality.

In an article published on PostBulletin.com, Dr. Morice offered encouraging words:

"As we open up the testing outside of Mayo Clinic we are prioritizing our colleagues here in the state to have access to that testing," said Dr. William Morice, chair of the Department of the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Mayo Clinic, in an interview on Tuesday.

"We are currently in active discussions with the state government to try to understand how our capacity can help provide the testing needed, as other hospitals are as well."

Specifically, Morice said, the clinic had the ability to produce 8,000 molecular or diagnostic tests daily, and 10,000 serological tests. "Basically," he said, "we will be able to provide much of that to the state here going forward."

Knowing who may be carrying COVID-19 with minor symptoms, and who has built up immunity, is crucial to slowly start getting things moving again.  It won't get rid of COVID-19, only a viable vaccine will do that, but it will help reduce the mass outbreak areas that can overwhelm hospitals across the state.

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