Updated: January 11, 2021 03:07 PM
Created: January 11, 2021 01:13 PM
Monday, Minnesota health officials provided the latest update on the state's COVID-19 situation and vaccination efforts.
Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Infectious Disease Director Kris Ehresmann and Assistant Director of the MDH Public Health Lab Sara Vetter touched on a number of topics, including COVID-19 variants.
On Saturday, MDH confirmed that five cases of the UK COVID-19 strain had been found in Minnesota. Those cases were in Hennepin, Dakota, Ramsey and Carver counties. However, Ehresmann said it's important to recognize that those strains are likely in other parts of the state, too, making it more important for Minnesotans to continue following health guidance to slow its spread.
That particular strain of the virus is known to spread more easily but doesn't cause more severe disease, Vetter said. That being said, little is known about the variant, so far, including its possible effects on children.
Vetter also mentioned that health officials are watching for a South Africa strain, too, but it's not believed that has made its way into the U.S. at this point.
Malcolm noted MDH is continually screening for new variants and will continue to do so.
A couple of other notes from Monday's call:
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