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The more contagious variant was found in a Minnesota resident who recently traveled to Brazil, and underscores the need for continued mask-wearing and social-distancing practices, state health officials said Monday.
Seniors will enter lottery for vaccinations at specific sites, ending dilemma of whether to accept appointments far away.
State issues new system for connecting independent practitioners, prioritized for vaccine, with clinics providing shots.
21 deaths, 1,525 infections reported on Friday amid continued signs that a post-holiday increase in COVID-19 activity has eased.
The state also unveiled a new electronic COVID-19 case investigation system by which people who have tested positive will be invited via text message to answer questions about viral exposures online.
Health officials hope new vaccine clinics for people 65 and older will hasten Minnesota's rate of vaccine administration.
The site closed to new registrants at 2 p.m. in order to serve people stuck in a waiting queue, but in the end connected more than 5,000 people with appointments.
Case trends are positive for Minnesota as it prepares to expand limited COVID-19 vaccination to seniors, teachers.
Announcement comes as nearly 200,000 Minnesotans have received their first doses of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines.
The state remains on schedule for vaccination of its priority group, but faces criticism when compared with the rest of the U.S.