Labs across the U.S. have processed more than 2.8 million tests for coronavirus. Public health experts believe that number is far below what is needed to accurately track and contain the spread of COVID-19. Minnesota's rate of positive tests — less than 5% — is among the lowest in the country. But based on its population, the state's 37,000-plus tests trail the national median for completed tests.
West of Minnesota, the Dakotas have conducted fewer than 19,000 total tests, and have some of the lowest rates of cases in the nation. To the east of us, Wisconsin and Illinois have conducted more than 140,000 tests. A third of Michigan’s 79,000 tests have been positive.
Neighbors New York and New Jersey own the highest concentration of cases, with more than 40% of tests coming back positive. Meanwhile, Gulf Coast states like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida have conducted more than 450,000 total tests.
In California, early testing was limited to front-line health care workers and high-risk people. That's also been the case in Minnesota.
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Minnesota and Wisconsin, which have had stay-home orders since late March, fall just below the nation’s median of tests per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, testing rates vary widely for Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota, which have not yet issued orders.