The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is confirming the first documented U-S case of the Brazilian variant of the coronavirus in the state. MDH’s Dr. Ruth Lynfield says the patient is a Twin Cities resident with a recent travel history to Brazil.

“The variant was found through the MDH’s variant surveillance program. each week this program collects random samples from testing partners and then we conduct special testing using whole-genome sequencing.”

Dr. Lynfield says while the Brazilian variant is thought to be more transmissible than the initial strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 disease, it is not clear yet whether the variant causes more severe disease.