More than 85% of Minnesota schools will receive extra funding to test students for COVID-19 and for additional staffing to administer the tests.

Over 165 schools applied for grant funding after the original deadline was pushed out two weeks to Oct. 15. The state designated $55 million to go to schools that applied for the grant, and funding will provide test kits, protective equipment, staff and other necessary supplies for testing, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Education on Monday.

"COVID-19 testing remains a critical strategy as we work to keep our students in their classrooms and activities while protecting the health and safety of all students, staff and families," said Education Commissioner Dr. Heather Mueller in the release. "I am so grateful to our school leaders who have stepped up once again to protect their school communities, especially as our youngest Minnesotans remain ineligible for vaccination."

The largest recipients include St. Paul Public Schools with $1.94 million, Minneapolis Public Schools with $1.84 million, the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan district with $1.55 million, Osseo Area Schools with $1.1 million and South Washington County School District with $1 million, according to the Department of Education's website.

The money is part of a $55 million Epidemiology Laboratory Capacity Reopening Schools grant that was funded by the federal pandemic relief package passed this year.

Alex Chhith • 612-673-4759