Additional contagious virus variant confirmed in Twin Cities area

Published: Jan. 10, 2021 at 3:09 PM CST
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota health officials have confirmed five cases of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus in the Twin Cities area. The variant, which was first detected late last year in the United Kingdom, was identified in specimens from residents in four Minnesota counties.

Although officials aren’t surprised by the discovery and don’t believe it will lead to more serious cases, it raises the potential for the virus to spread even more rapidly.

Health officials say they don’t know if any of the five people had been hospitalized. At least two of the five recently traveled abroad.

On Sunday, KARE 11 reported 2,165 new COVID-19 cases, along with 44 new deaths according to data from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)

Sunday’s new case total includes 1,942 confirmed cases and 223 probable cases.

The total number of Minnesotans who have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began is now 436,572, with 16,649 of those as antigen test results.

MDH says 44 new deaths from the virus were reported. That pushes the total number of fatalities in Minnesota to 5,707.

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