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FDA approves first at-home saliva coronavirus test

The New York Times reports: “The Food and Drug Administration said on Friday that it had granted emergency authorization for the first at-home saliva collection kit to test for the coronavirus. … The kits must be ordered by a physician and have the potential to widen the audience for virus screening. By keeping symptomatic people home, the spit kits could reduce the risk of infecting health care workers.

In the Star Tribune, Chris Hewitt reports: “The Guthrie Theater has slashed 60% of the budget for its upcoming season and 67% of the plays — six of the nine planned productions, including annual cash cow ‘A Christmas Carol.’ As a result of a COVID-19-altered landscape, the Minneapolis theater’s board met Friday evening to approve a $12.6 million budget, replacing the $31 million approved in March.

In the Pioneer Press Ross Raihala reports: “One week after KARE-TV fired meteorologist Sven Sundgaard, Jason Disharoon announced his last day covering the weather for KARE would be Sunday. … KARE president and general manager John Remes had no comment on Disharoon’s departure. Disharoon did not immediately respond to an email from the Pioneer Press.”

KSTP-TV’s Eric Rasmussen reports: “The daily and hourly flood of critical information about the COVID-19 crisis has made communicating with immigrant communities in Minnesota a challenging and frustrating task, leaving some non-English speakers struggling to access public health and financial resources. Ensuring that information was being properly translated was such a challenge during the early days of the pandemic that the state health department started funneling more than $1 million to community organizations to help address the issue.

The Star Tribune’s Chris Serres and Miquel Otárola write: “Citing urgent public health concerns, Metro Transit authorities are moving to contain the spread of a large and growing homeless encampment near the light-rail line in south Minneapolis. … Many of the tent dwellers at the site, known as ‘Camp Quarantine,’ said they are fearful of catching the coronavirus and feel safer sleeping outside than in crowded shelters where physical distancing is nearly impossible.” 

For WCCO-TV, Marielle Mohs says: “A Minneapolis family sharing a warning for anyone who thinks they’re virus free. On Sunday, 14-year-old Alex Theiler learned he was COVID-19 positive after getting a required test done before his appointment to get his braces off at the Mayo Clinic. Theiler’s appointment to get his braces removed required drilling on his teeth, which is a one of the procedures Mayo Clinic requires testing for to ensure the safety of their staff, regardless of showing no symptoms.

Also in the Pioneer Press, Chris Bianchi writes: “Mother Nature sort of seems to have it out for Mother’s Day, or at least around our parts. Snow could fall as part of an unusually cold Mother’s Day weekend forecast across the Twin Cities that could feature temperatures plummeting into the 20s in parts of the metro area, and several other days of overnight lows at or perhaps below freezing. Happy second week of May.”

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