The Minnesota Department of Health has launched a new COVID-19 saliva testing site in Carver County in an attempt to slow an outbreak of the B117 U.K. virus variant in the area. State Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm:

“B117 is easier to transmit. It spreads more quickly and it just requires additional vigilance to get on top of outbreaks like this when we see them begin to happen in our state.”

COVID cases have increased by 62% in Carver County over the course of February. MDH says it has traced 84 cases of COVID-19 back to school-sponsored and club youth sports, which in turn have led to an increase in cases linked to local gyms and fitness centers. Cases in Carver County are now approaching the levels seen in October, which eventually peaked in November, with MDH saying 35% of cases are people under 20. The new pop-up saliva testing center will open at the Chanhassen Recreation Center Thursday.