On March 19, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department reported the county's first positive case of the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19, also known as the United Kingdom (U.K.) variant because it was first identified there.
FILE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM
COVID VARIANT SLO County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein reported the county's first case of the U.K. variant of COVID-19 on March 19.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) notified SLO County on March 18 that a resident had tested positive for the variant.
According to a press release, the individual completed their isolation period and the Public Health Department deemed them as no longer infectious.
No other cases of the variant have been identified in SLO County.
In the press release, SLO County Public Health Officer Penny Borenstein said the end of the pandemic is close but that community cooperation is needed to get there.
“Continue to wear your mask in public, stay physically distanced from those who don’t live with you, get tested for COVID-19, and get vaccinated against COVID-19 if you are eligible. These actions will continue to protect you from spreading the variants,” she said.
According to Public Health, the vaccines available in the United States “appear to remain effective against severe impacts of COVID-19, even against variants."
The CDPH issued a health alert warning in February about the increasing cases of COVID-19 variants in the U.S. The department identified “variants of concern,” including the UK variant; B.1.135, which was identified in South Africa; and the P.1 variant that emerged from Brazil.
Santa Barbara County’s Public Health Department also recently reported two residents who tested positive for the U.K. variant. The department said the cases were unrelated and neither case was caused by traveling abroad. ∆