State health officials point to a number of good signs on COVID in Minnesota: case-positive rates remain relatively low… fewest new weekly cases in nursing homes since the start of the pandemic… and Minnesota expected to cross the one-million mark for total vaccine doses in the coming week. But the Health Department’s Kris Ehresmann says there’s concern about an uptick in cases caused by COVID variants:

“The B-117 strain is thought to be more easily spread, and there is some concern that it may have a greater likelihood of causing more serious illness.”

Ehresmann says it’s important Minnesotans continue COVID prevention by masking, social distancing, staying home when sick and being tested for COVID when appropriate.