Mar. 20—The Minnesota Department of Health reported 1,400 new COVID-19 cases and six new deaths on Saturday, March 20.
In a media call on Friday, health officials linked case increases in three parts of the state — St. Louis County, Blue Earth County as well as Carver and Scott counties — to newer and more contagious strains of the virus, specifically the B117 variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom.
PREVIOUSLY Health officials link St. Louis County's COVID-19 case uptick to new variants
Of the six newly reported COVID-19 deaths, one of those people was a resident of a long-term care or assisted living facility. The six people ranged between the ages of early 50s and early 90s.
More than half a million Minnesotans have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began and nearly 7,000 people have died from the illness and its complications.
Another 33,000 Minnesotans have received their first COVID-19 vaccine, according to state data reported Saturday. More than 1.37 million people have now received their first dose of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines or their only dose of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Nearly 25% of Minnesotans have now received one vaccine dose. Of those age 65 and older in the state, 78% have been vaccinated.