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After Hugely Long Wait Times, COVID Testing at MSP is Now By Appointment Only

Plus ugly homes, the local lawmaker who retweeted the Denver shooter, and our depressed hotels in today's Flyover.

Ryan Kennedy tweeted this locally viral photo of the testing line at MSP on Sunday.
@rkmpls

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily 1 p.m.(ish) digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Testing… Testing

Ryan Kennedy snapped the photo above on Sunday, about halfway through a 2.5-hour wait to get a COVID test at MSP. “I’m no expert, but it seems kinda weird for the testing process to be the riskiest thing I’ve done in months,” he tweeted. Kennedy tells Racket that the testing site lead and staff members were all great, albeit overwhelmed, and that they “directed everyone to call the state complaint hotline and register their issues,” as they’d tried to get help with space, staffing, and wait times “to no avail.” Something must have gotten through: The Minnesota Health Department announced Monday that “EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY,” the MSP testing site is available by appointment only. A Health Department spokesperson told Axios that the policy will remain in effect Tuesday and that they’ll reassess allowing walk-ins as the week progresses; you can find a full list of community testing sites here.

MN State Senator Retweeted Denver Shooter

I know what you’re thinking: So what? After all, how could state senator Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes) have known that the person he retweeted in February 2020 would later kill five and wound two others in a Denver area shooting spree. We rub elbows with all sorts of shady characters on social media, right? Well, see, what Chamberlain retweeted was shooter Lyndon McLeod’s endorsement of the neofascist manifesto Bronze Age Mindset, the Minnesota Reformer reports. This isn’t the first time Chamberlain has been called out for his interest in the book, which according to the Reformer, “espouses racist and misogynistic ideas including that white men are the proper rulers of the world.”

Somebody Get These Hotels on Lexapro! Folks!

It’s not just you, me, and everyone we know: Twin Cities Business magazine reports that our hotel market is also super depressed. In fact, we’re living in one of the nation’s most depressed hotel markets. On one hand, duh, right? COVID and all that? But it’s not so simple; while many other markets have seen hotel stays return to B.C. (Before Covid) numbers, ours simply hasn’t. “Our market is lagging behind,” Richard Dobransky, president of St. Paul-based Morrissey Hospitality, told TCB mag. “We’re in a kind of limbo.” For one, Minneapolis-St. Paul business travel is itself “profoundly depressed,” more so than it is in other metros, as many big downtown companies like 3M have kept their offices closed. Leisure travel also hasn’t rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, though it has in cities like Chicago. On a related note, Axios has a rundown today on new Explore Minnesota Tourism director Lauren Bennett McGinty.

2 Ugly Minnesota Houses to Appear on HGTV’s ‘Ugliest House in America’

HGTV’s new, uh, competition show will declare an ugliest house in America, then sully its singular ugliness via a $150,00 makeover. Hosted by Retta (aka Donna Meagle from Parks & Rec), the program is set to feature two Minnesota houses: a former funeral parlor in Blue Earth and this kinky ocean-themed mansion in St. Cloud. Purchased for $60,000 on freaking Halloween 2020, the death house features an embalming room that’ll smartly be converted into a laundry room; the freaky fish place, known as the Poseidon House to locals, languished on the market for years after its eccentric owner died. The latter has serious Troy McClure vibes. Ugliest House in America premiered yesterday and airs new episodes nightly through the end of the week.