COVID-19 Update: Vaccinations, COVID Tests and New Variants

DULUTH, Minn.- COVID-19 restrictions have loosened quite a bit in recent weeks, but wearing masks and social distancing are still good ways to stay safe, especially for unvaccinated people.

Essentia Health administered more than 30,000 COVID-19 vaccines over the past few months, having more people vaccinated is keeping case numbers down. Fewer people are also coming in for other seasonal illnesses but the spreading variants remain a threat.

“I think most people or from what I’ve been reading, because of the transmissibility and the significant ease of transmissibility of the delta variant, that would become a more significant source of the COVID virus as we go forward,” said Dr. Peter Henry.

More residents in urban areas are receiving the vaccine than those in rural. Currently, the supply of vaccines is exceeding the demand. Shots are readily available and free. And vaccinations are showing very effective results.

“We’ve seen people who had gotten or received the vaccine and still had a positive test,” said Henry. “Those are very infrequent.”

Cases of COVID variants is growing throughout the state. The B.1.1.7 variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom is the most common in the Northland right now, but the number of Delta variant cases is growing.

Unvaccinated people are at the highest risk of infection with these variants. Vaccinated people can be infected with the new variants but they most often stay asymptomatic.

 

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