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Minnesota Department of Health Says 90% of COVID cases are Omicron variant

Health officials offer COVID update for the state Friday
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Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 8:21 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) –On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health gave its COVID-19 Update.

MDH Commissioner Jan Malcolm said the Omicron variant is spreading like wildfire.

“We’re not sitting here as helpless victims of this Omicron Tsunami. We can and we should be taking action to do what we can to reduce the spread of COVID,” she said.

MDH encourages people to have a “layered” approach to fighting the virus by masking, getting vaccinated, and boosting.

“It’s now close to or perhaps even already at 90 percent of all of the COVID-19 cases coming in now being the Omicron Variant,” Malcolm said.

And as far as testing, A Mayo Clinic expert said choosing the right test is also important.

“I would say if someone has symptoms, and they do a home test and it is positive, treat that as a case of COVID. Call your health care provider, because they don’t know that you’ve had that test. So, you do need to let them know. If you’re having a negative antigen test but you’re having symptoms, then get it confirmed with a PCR, because it can be that you got an early infection and your antigen test did not detect it,” said Dr. Melanie Swift, Mayo Clinic Occupational Medicine Physician.

MDH said a surge of cases will strain hospitals and possibly other services.

“We’re certainly talking to employers and businesses to be planning accordingly for significant percentages of the workforce to be out at any one time,” Malcolm said.

Health experts are telling people that even a minor symptom of an upper respiratory infection is enough to get tested.

“The picture is shifting, and what we’re seeing on the front lines, and we’re seeing many more people saying, ‘I thought this was just a bad cold,’” Swift said.

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