More contagious virus variant discovered in Twin Cities area

January 11, 2021

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.

Minnesota on Saturday reported 2,489 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 43 more deaths from the disease.