Carver County Public Health officials have confirmed that the Minnesota Department of Health notified them of a county resident who tested positive for the UK variant of COVID-19.

“We knew it was inevitable that this variant would show up in our State and County eventually,” Carver County Director of Public Health Dr. Richard Scott said. “Our best defense against this new COVID-19 variant continues to be the same as before: wearing our face coverings, maintaining physical distance and staying home when you’re sick.”

Scott noted these mitigation strategies serve an even more important role since the initial research shows the UK variant of COVID-19 is more easily transmitted. He added that no evidence exists that it impacts the vaccine effectiveness or the severity of the disease.

Carver County’s case was among five cases from four different counties in the Twin Cities metro area. Four of the cases were identified through the MDH Public Health Laboratory, and one was identified through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The results were confirmed on Saturday, Jan. 9. The cases range in age from 15 to 37 years and their illness onsets range from Dec. 16 to Dec. 31. None have been hospitalized, to MDH’s knowledge. Two cases reported international travel, one did not travel, and the others have unknown travel history. MDH epidemiologists are re-interviewing the cases to gather more information about how they were likely exposed and who their close contacts were. That investigation is continuing.

Load comments