Colorado Gov. Jared Polis Announcing the First Known u.s. Case of the New Covid-19 Variant, Which Was First Discovered in the United Kingdom Earlier This Month.

December 29, 2020
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Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK.

  • Colorado health officials say the person is a male in his 20s who has no travel history. He is currently in isolation as health officials investigate and conduct contact tracing in order to determine how he contracted it and prevent additional cases.
  • According to a press release issued by Gov. Polis, “Scientists in the United Kingdom believe the B.1.1.7 variant to be more contagious than previously identified strains of the SARS-CoV-2 variant, though no more severe in symptoms.” The press release also states that “the currently approved vaccines are thought to be effective against this variant.”
  • Earlier this week, the CDC announced that all passengers from the United Kingdom – including American citizens and green card holders – must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 3 days in order to board a flight to the United States.
  • Why It Matters: The new strain is described as more contagious (thought to have led to higher rates of community transmission in parts of the UK) but not necessarily more deadly. Much still has to be learned about the SARS-CoV-2 virus that was first discovered in December 2019. Read more from our previous report about the UK variant.

This is also a good read from the Associated Press: EXPLAINER: Are new coronavirus strains cause for concern?

by Jenna Lee,