COVID-19 testing samples from St. Paul nursing home ruined after mix-up

Minnesota health officials are apologizing after COVID-19 testing samples from a St. Paul nursing home were ruined due to a mix-up earlier this week.

The Minnesota State Lab Partnership confirmed the incident to KSTP Thursday.

The state said a National Guard team on its first deployment assisted in testing residents and staff members at the Episcopal Church Home on Monday. However, the test samples were ruined because they weren’t stored in coolers while transported to Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

The state said inadequate lab capacity in the metro led a lab logistics person to arrange for Mayo to do the testing, but because Mayo didn’t have adequate swabs available Fairview was asked to provide the swabs. While Fairview provided the swabs, they didn’t provide any coolers or packaging information usually provided by Mayo and nobody realized the issue until it was too late.

In total, about 300 samples were ruined.

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