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Addressing questions about Hy-Vee tests

February 1, 2021

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Saint Mary’s is using Hy-Vee tests on campus for its COVID-19 testing (student-athlete, mass testing, and surveillance testing). Some questions have arisen about the efficacy of the tests, specifically that they are resulting in false-positive findings.

The tests are approved by the federal government and were provided to Hy-Vee.

Although the Minnesota Department of Health is investigating the results of two tests at the university (out of 1,179 successful tests through Feb. 1), officials want to stress that the PCR (polymerase chain reaction within the COVID-19 test) may not actually be a false-positive, as the test could be picking up on something — e.g. a low viral load.

The Minnesota Department of Health — and Saint Mary’s — will always err on the side of caution when it comes to student safety.

A positive COVID-19 test from a Hy-Vee testing event will be treated like all other positive COVID-19 tests. The student will be required to isolate, and close contacts will be required to quarantine. We will continue to monitor guidance and direction from the Minnesota Department of Health in the event there are any changes in quarantine or isolation dates.