Where to get a COVID test
You can find testing sites close to your home here, or get a PCR test sent to your home for free here. Many of these have no out-of-pocket costs, but this site has details on where you need an appointment and where you can go if you don't have insurance. Some community testing sites are shifting to appoint-only due to the influx of people needing tests, so make sure you check the details before you go.
At two of the biggest free community testing sites, the Convention Center site is still taking walk-ins, but appointments can be made here. The MSP airport site has gone appointment-only, and appointments can be made here. People will health insurance can make an appointment with GS Labs here.
As always, the best protection against the virus is getting vaccinated and boosted. Find info on how to do that here.
Minneapolis Public School Superintendent Ed Graff wrote a letter to parents on Sunday, a day before school restarted, asking parents to test kids for COVID on their own and to hold them out of school if they're showing symptoms of COVID. Graff affirmed the district's intention to continue in-person instruction.
Graff directed families to get tested at a community testing site or to order a PCR test to their home.
The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers & Education Support Professionals will be unveiling a proposed plan for the district at a press conference later today.
The Star Tribune covered Graff's press conference on Monday where he mentioned staffing shortages in the district. The shortages are a result of resignations, difficulty replacing those staffers, COVID, and teacher vacation plans.
Graff said these shortages are forcing staff into different roles, and he highlighted literacy coaches as an example. Melissa Whitler highlighted this very issue in her Southwest Voices article from the Nov. 23 school board meeting.
"Superintendent Graff acknowledged that while the district has funded literacy and math specialists for each K-5 school, those teachers are spending a significant amount of time working as building reserve teachers instead of in their role as support for classroom teachers because of the current shortage of staff and substitute teachers."
As Whitler reported from the Dec. 21 school board meeting, literacy rates dropped among Black, Hispanic, and Native students in particular since the onset of the pandemic. The specialists the district has hired to address the problem are being forced into different roles to make up for staff that's missing elsewhere. Not good.
The Met Council announced the finalists to represent our area: Anne Mavity, Aiysha Mustapha, and John Pacheco, Jr. Check out the piece Henry Pan did for us on the candidate interviews for the seat. Governor Walz will be making the final pick soon.
A comprehensive look at the surge in gun violence and resulting homicides in Minneapolis in 2021. (Star Tribune)
Mars is warmer than Minneapolis. (Mars Wx Report Twitter)
Jon Hamm hung out all over Minneapolis during the Winter Classic, including a stint at Bryant Lake Bowl. (Star Tribune)
Minnesota is currently short on blood donations. You can sign up and donate through Memorial Blood Centers and the Red Cross.
Donate to the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association's food share and help feed the neighborhood.
SooVAC is looking for "Midwest artists working in abstraction rooted in the Black experience". Their deadline is Jan. 17.
OUT & ABOUT
The Bakken Museum is hosting a LEGO Robotics class for kids on Jan. 8, 15, and 22.
Mia's galleries are back open six days a week.