Surveillance increased for coronavirus variant threats to Minnesota's pandemic progress


Pete Kiehart - New York Times

Coronavirus samples for genomic sequencing were unpacked in the Bonsignori Lab of Duke University in Durham, N.C., in February.

Minnesota is increasing its search for more infectious strains of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, hoping to identify any troubling variants that could reverse the sharp declines in pandemic activity over the last month.

Four of five key pandemic measures are below Minnesota's high-risk thresholds for the first time since last summer - with the positivity rate of diagnostic testing dropping to a near-record low of 3.4% on Wednesday and the daily rate of new infections receding below 10 per 100,000 people for the first time since last July.

Minnesota's hospitalization rate of COVID-19 patients also returned to a level last seen in March before the latest wave of viral transmission.


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