COVID-19 updates for Friday, Dec. 3

The first case of the omicron variant was confirmed in Minnesota Thursday.

The patient is a fully-vaccinated Hennepin County man who recently traveled to New York City.

The patient attended an anime convention at the Javits Center from Nov. 19-21.

“We still have more to learn about Omicron, but the most important thing we can do right now is to use the tools we have available to make it as hard as possible for this virus to spread,” Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm said.

“In addition to vaccination and boosters, we can slow the spread of this variant and all COVID-19 variants by using the tried-and-true prevention methods of wearing masks, staying home when sick, and getting tested when appropriate.”

The World Health Organization identified the omicron variant as one of concern after studying its spread in southern Africa.

W.H.O. skipped two letters of the Greek alphabet, nu and xi, for identifying variants.

More than 5,300 new COVID-19 cases were reported Thursday, with 26 in Beltrami County, 21 in Cass County, seven in Clearwater County and eight in Hubbard County.

MDH also reported 72 new COVID-19 deaths Thursday.

One was a Beltrami County resident in their early 70s and one was a Clearwater County resident in their early 90s.

On Friday, MDH reported 5,685 new cases and 62 new deaths.

Of those new cases, 56 were in Beltrami County, 20 were in Cass County, seven were in Clearwater County and 16 were in Hubbard County.

Of those new deaths, one was a Beltrami County resident in their late teens, one was a Beltrami County resident in their late 70s, one was a Cass County resident in their early 60s, and one was a Cass County resident in their late 70s.

Since the pandemic began, there has been 8,249 COVID-19 cases in Beltrami County and 100 deaths.

There have been 5,052 cases and 55 deaths in Cass County, 1,594 cases and 21 deaths in Clearwater County, and 3,576 cases and 49 deaths in Hubbard County.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

© 2020 HBI Radio Bemidji, LLC d/b/a Paul Bunyan Broadcasting 502 Beltrami Ave NW, Bemidji, MN 56601 This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area