This Thing is Not Over Yet

Day 355: Stay Safe Minnesota

The COVD (U.K.) variant (B.1.1.7) is rapidly spreading in Carver county, northern Minnesota. It has the potential to be a setback to our hard-fought progress against the disease. We’re so close to the light at the end of the tunnel …. but this thing’s not over.

A few days ago, while announcing major roll backs in COVID-19 restrictions, Minnesita Gov. Tim Walz said “ We’re beating this thing. We are going to win. It may not be the end but it’s sure the beginning of the end. Normalcy is on the horizon.

However, recent spike in new COVID-19 cases in Carver County with the highly contagious U.K. strain (B.1.1.7) is a “threat to the progress Minnesota has been making at reducing the virus’ spread” according to state health health leaders.

“The state recommended a two-week shutdown of youth sports in the southwest Twin Cities county starting last Monday, after a cluster of 140 cases were linked back to sports and recreation pursuits. Of these cases, 32 were later confirmed to be of the more contagious B.1.1.7. U.K. variant of the virus, and 67 tests are still pending,” writes Adam Uren in Bring Me MN News.

“We are very concerned about this (U.K.) variant and its rapid spread. It has the potential to be a setback to our hard-fought progress against the disease. We’re so close to the light at the end of the tunnel …. but this thing’s not over,” assistant health commissioner Dan Huff told reporters.

“The goal is to stop this variant from going from person to person, and that’s what’s happening right now in Carver County, encouraging youth sports teams to stop team dinners, sleepovers and to ‘limit every possible interaction that we can’ while also testing as much as possible”.

An Appeal to COVID Vaccination

Minnesota Health Commissioner (MDH) Jan Malcolm appealed to the state residents that it’s vital to get vaccinated as soon as they’re able to as some people due to have their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines reportedly haven’t been getting them.

Minnesota health officials continue to urge Minnesotans “to stay vigilant against the disease, wearing masks in public gathering spaces and socially distancing.”

Screenshot source: MPR News

“More cases are a problem in the sense that the more cases that are out there the more this virus replicates, the more chance there is for additional variants. It does remain a statewide, nationwide and global imperative to keep the case growth under control so we don’t keep fueling these variants. As there’s lots of reasons to indicate that we are making good progress, we still have these vulnerabilities. we know that as we increase our interactions, those prevention measures are very important.”

Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm (source: Bring Me The News)

The MPR News reports “While the overall trend remains flat and current counts are still very low compared to late November and early December, the increase is notable given the concerns about the rise of the U.K. COVID-19 strain in Minnesota”.

COVID-19 Vaccination Watch

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID vaccination tracker page (as of Mar 17, 9 a.m.) 147,590,615 doses have been distributed and 113,037,627 doses administered. According MDH COVID-19 Response vaccine data (as of Mar 15) a total of 1,987,705 doses of Covid-19 (Pfizer & Moderna) vaccines have been administered in Minnesota. According to the MDH latest tally (as of Mar 17) the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are 499,962 (out of 7,805,641 tested) with 6,756 deaths.