(St. Paul, MN) — Health officials are reporting the state’s first case of the South African variant of COVID-19. Officials say the sample came from a 40-year-old Twin Cities resident who became ill on January 24th and wasn’t identified through genome sequencing techniques until Wednesday. They added that this variant is known to be more transmissible, but research has yet to support if the variant is deadlier. The Department of Health urges everyone to continue doing their part in slowing the spread and preventing the virus from mutating by wearing masks, social distancing, staying home when sick and getting tested when appropriate.