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OMICRON VARIANT

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Bebtelovimab is designed as a treatment option for those newly diagnosed with COVID-19 who cannot take Paxlovid and are deemed at high risk of severe outcomes. It replaces a series of monoclonal treatments that no longer are effective against virus due to mutation.
According to CHI St. Joseph’s Community Health, Hubbard County is seeing another surge in COVID-19 cases, driven by the Omicron BA.5 variant.
The Minnesota Department of Health said the two variants have become more dominant in the state, thoughs the variants have grown, the number of COVID-19 cases in Minnesota has continued to trend downward since mid-May. Those numbers could be deceiving, however.
A seemingly endless stream of “subvariants” of omicron, the most recent Greek-letter variant, has emerged in the past few months. How different are these subvariants from one another? Can infection by one subvariant protect someone from infection by another subvariant? And how well are the existing coronavirus vaccines doing against the subvariants? We asked medical and epidemiological experts these and other questions.
Health officials say that declining hospitalizations is a better metric for tracking spread.
Federal health officials say the best prevention against COVID-19 infection among infants, who cannot be vaccinated, is for pregnant women and new mothers to become vaccinated.

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Modeling scientists say cases and hospitalizations now in decline, but have a long way to go. With 1 in 4 residents already infected, the state could see up to 1 in every 2 Minnesotans having been infected by mid-March.
When given early, lab-engineered antibody infusions have reduced COVID-19 hospitalizations among persons at high risk. Previous versions of these treatments do not appear to work against the omicron variant, however. Replacement products are in short supply, with providers given a few dozen treatments weekly while managing hundreds of new patients.
Gov. Tim Walz announced that the first round of staffing support teams was set to move out to 23 hospitals.

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