State Health Department officials say there is likely “widespread transmission” of the B.1.1.7 UK variant of COVID-19 in Minnesota. This comes after health officials confirmed 479 cases from March 16th to the 20th:

“A virus can mutate or develop genetic changes when it makes copies of itself. When you have as many people affected as we’ve had with COVID-19 there is a lot of opportunities for a mutation to happen.”

The current situation is now seen as a “race” between the variant spread and the administration of the vaccine. Governor Walz is expected to announce an updated vaccine schedule later this week for when the rest of the Minnesotans will become eligible.