Ask MDH: The COVID-19 delta variant, CDC’s new school rules and vaccine boosters

A woman helps another check in for an appointment.
Margaret Martin (left) helps Mary Brilliance check in for her second COVID-19 shot Feb. 25 at the Cook County Community Center in Grand Marais, Minn.
Derek Montgomery for MPR News file

The delta variant is now the dominant COVID-19 strain in the U.S.

Many states in the South, such as Missouri, are dealing with a surge of hospitalizations because of the highly contagious variant. They also have some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Minnesota, where 67.4 percent of those 16 and up have received at least one dose of the vaccine, has dodged a delta variant wave so far. But the state Department of Health says renewed diligence is needed and the surge we’re seeing elsewhere should prompt any unvaccinated individuals to get the vaccine.

Meanwhile, the CDC issued new guidance on kids returning to school this fall, and national health officials are talking with vaccine manufacturers about a possible booster.

Tuesday, guest host Catharine Richert talked about all that and more with Minnesota’s leading health experts.

What questions do you have about COVID-19 in Minnesota? Submit them here.

In addition to being live on the radio, we also carried the show live on Facebook.


  • Jan Malcolm is the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health.

  • Kris Ehresmann is the director of the Minnesota Department of Health’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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