State officials are urging Minnesotans not to let up on masking, social-distancing and other COVID precautions, due to an uptick in cases they suspect could be connected to COVID variants. Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm:

“We are seeing these variants spreading rapidly, particularly among sporting networks and schools, and we know that these variants are better at infecting more people.”

Malcolm says areas of particular concern include the Mankato/Blue Earth County area, the East Range in Saint Louis County, and the southwest metro.