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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - State health officials say the so-called UK variant of the coronavirus is now considered to be widespread in Minnesota.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield says almost 480 COVID-19 cases involving the B117 variant were detected in Minnesota from March 16th to the 20th when it accounted for over 50 percent of the positive test results. She also says several variants originated in California are showing up in Minnesota and it appears youth are now the "leading edge" of the spread of the more transmissible COVID variants.

Governor Tim Walz is expected to make an announcement this week concerning the scheduling of COVID-19 vaccinations for those not already eligible for the shots. He says Minnesota has the distinction of being ranked first on a list of the states based on the percentage of vaccine doses that have been administered. Over 88.5 percent of the doses sent to Minnesota have been used to immunize its citizens.

(The Minnesota News Network contributed to this story)

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