Michigan, Minnesota see COVID-19 variant increases
More states are reporting increased B117 variant cases, the variant first identified in the United Kingdom that is roughly 50% more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain.
Today Minnesota confirmed the variant is now widespread in the state, accounting for more than half of the viruses in a sample selected for genetic sequencing. So far the state has detected 479 cases caused by B117.
Across the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tracked 7,501 B117 cases in 51 jurisdictions; that number is likely a gross underestimate, as it’s based only on a samples selected for genomic surveillance.
Officials from the White House and CDC have said in recent weeks that B117 likely represents 30% of COVID-19 cases in the country, and it will become the dominant strain by April.
In another state that has recently reported increased B117 cases, Michigan reported its highest single-day positivity rate of 2021 on Monday, along with 3,579 new COVID-19 cases, according to mlive.
The state is averaging 2,938 new cases per day.