1st reported US case of COVID-19 variant found in Colorado

The first reported U.S. case of the COVID-19 variant that’s been seen in the United Kingdom has been discovered in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday.

Posted: Dec 29, 2020 7:02 PM

DENVER (AP) — The first reported U.S. case of the COVID-19 variant that’s been seen in the United Kingdom has been discovered in Colorado, Gov. Jared Polis announced Tuesday.

The variant was found in a man in his 20s who is in isolation southeast of Denver in Elbert County and has no travel history, state health officials said.

Elbert County is a mainly rural area of rolling plains at the far edge of the Denver metro area that includes a portion of Interstate 70, the state’s main east-west highway.

The Colorado State Laboratory confirmed the virus variant, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was notified.

Scientists in the U.K. believe the variant is more contagious than previously identified strains. The vaccines being given now are thought to be effective against the variant, Colorado health officials said in a news release.

Public health officials are investigating other potential cases and performing contact tracing to determine the spread of the variant throughout the state.

“There is a lot we don’t know about this new COVID-19 variant, but scientists in the United Kingdom are warning the world that it is significantly more contagious. The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority, and we will closely monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely,” Polis said.

Polis and state health officials are expected hold a news conference Wednesday.

The discovery of the new variant led the CDC to issue new rules on Christmas Day for travelers arriving to the U.S. from the U.K., requiring they show proof of a negative COVID-19 test.

Worry has been growing about the variant since the weekend before Christmas, when Britain’s prime minister said a new strain of the coronavirus seemed to spread more easily than earlier ones and was moving rapidly through England. The nation’s first variant case was identified in southeast England.

Dozens of countries barred flights from the U.K., and southern England was placed under strict lockdown measures. Scientists say there is reason for concern but the new strains should not cause alarm.

Japan announced Monday it would bar entry of all nonresident foreign nationals as a precaution against the new strain.

New variants of the coronavirus have been seen almost since the virus was first detected in China nearly a year ago. It is common for viruses to undergo minor changes as they reproduce and move through a population. The slight modifications are how scientists track the spread of a virus from one place to another.

But if the virus has significant mutations, one concern is that current vaccines might no longer offer the same protections. Although that’s a possibility to watch for over time with the coronavirus, experts say they don’t believe it will be the case with the latest variant.

The U.K. variant, known as B.1.1.7, has also been found in Canada, Italy, India and the United Arab Emirates.

South Africa has also discovered a highly contagious COVID-19 variant that is driving the country’s latest spike of confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The variant, known as 501.V2, is dominant among the newly confirmed infections in South Africa, according to health officials and scientists leading the country’s virus strategy.

___

This story has been corrected to refer to the announcement of the new variant by the British Prime Minister taking place the weekend before Christmas.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1194629

Reported Deaths: 22947
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4773819428
DuPage775061205
Will65561906
Lake59972931
Kane51118723
Winnebago28430444
Madison28186461
St. Clair25649469
McHenry24580266
Champaign18241127
Peoria16983266
Sangamon16243222
McLean14707160
Tazewell13627240
Rock Island13140287
Kankakee12576189
Kendall1116987
LaSalle10884222
Macon9508186
Vermilion8618118
DeKalb8354115
Adams8035114
Williamson6858121
Whiteside5947149
Boone593671
Clinton558289
Coles523992
Grundy518563
Ogle505475
Knox5022133
Jackson461560
Effingham450169
Macoupin437280
Henry434658
Marion4272112
Livingston425277
Franklin416566
Stephenson411176
Monroe408486
Jefferson3994116
Randolph398079
Woodford369860
Morgan361277
Montgomery353670
Lee337243
Christian332668
Bureau332476
Logan331353
Fayette307052
Perry306857
Fulton288145
Iroquois278862
Jersey249947
Douglas246933
McDonough233740
Saline232848
Lawrence231924
Union220638
Shelby215234
Crawford201324
Bond191624
Cass189522
Pike170250
Clark168831
Wayne168849
Hancock168229
Warren166544
Richland163638
Jo Daviess161422
White161425
Ford159845
Washington158724
Carroll158035
Edgar155338
Moultrie150224
Clay143542
Greene138332
Johnson135312
Piatt133914
Wabash130512
Mercer128733
Mason128641
De Witt128322
Massac128134
Cumberland120118
Jasper111217
Menard10428
Marshall84515
Hamilton79115
Schuyler6825
Pulaski6716
Brown6656
Stark54422
Edwards52810
Henderson50414
Calhoun4822
Alexander4539
Scott4491
Gallatin4384
Putnam4213
Hardin34612
Pope2843
Out of IL50
Unassigned02246

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 665285

Reported Deaths: 12697
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion910581653
Lake48637887
Allen36050641
Hamilton32231398
St. Joseph30243514
Elkhart25484420
Vanderburgh21315382
Tippecanoe20185205
Johnson16425361
Porter16053276
Hendricks15899301
Clark12032182
Madison11779321
Vigo11672231
Monroe10394164
Delaware9879179
LaPorte9821198
Howard9095199
Kosciusko8588111
Bartholomew7504147
Warrick7445153
Hancock7439134
Floyd7255172
Wayne6654192
Grant6453157
Boone611991
Morgan6118126
Dubois5933112
Dearborn550669
Cass5477100
Marshall5446105
Henry542695
Noble510978
Jackson465567
Shelby462591
Lawrence4193113
Gibson404985
Harrison402764
Clinton397053
Montgomery390584
DeKalb387178
Knox357885
Miami357863
Whitley350638
Huntington348377
Steuben339855
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Putnam331960
Ripley327862
Adams325149
Jasper318443
White298052
Jefferson295974
Daviess285696
Fayette272656
Decatur271388
Greene262280
Posey261432
Wells258975
Scott251450
LaGrange242170
Clay241444
Randolph225877
Spencer219330
Jennings216344
Washington213027
Sullivan203639
Fountain202542
Starke189251
Owen183453
Fulton179637
Jay178528
Carroll176919
Perry173836
Orange171351
Rush165422
Vermillion161542
Franklin159735
Tipton149241
Parke140116
Pike128433
Blackford120627
Pulaski107544
Newton96732
Brown95240
Benton92413
Crawford92113
Martin80314
Warren75914
Switzerland7558
Union67510
Ohio54111
Unassigned0434