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MDH says COVID cases in Minnesota could be higher than official numbers

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Minnesota Department of Health COVID

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Health officials say the official statistics for COVID cases in Minnesota may be undercounting the virus.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Commissioner Jan Malcolm says they're reporting 7,833 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, along with 33 additional deaths, 112 more Minnesotans in the hospital due to the coronavirus, and 15 more admitted to intensive care.  But Malcolm says the results of at-home rapid COVID tests are not reported to the state, so there could be even more cases.

Malcolm says 1 million at-home rapid tests have been sent to Minnesota schools for distribution to the public and another 1.8 million at-home tests are on their way.

MDH also says while the delta variant of COVID-19 is still present in the state, the omicron variant now makes up 90% of the COVID cases in Minnesota.  Malcolm says the omicron variant appears to cause less severe illness, especially for those who have been vaccinated and booster, but the virus is still dangerous for the elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions.

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