COVID-19 variant detected in Madera County
The Madera County Department of Public Health was notified by the California Department of Public Health that a county resident tested positive for the B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the U.K. variant.
The individual completed their isolation period and is no longer infectious. Contacts have been identified through an investigation and are currently in quarantine. No other cases have been identified with this variant to date. The county was notified of the variant on Tuesday.
“While cases are decreasing in Madera County the discovery of this variant is concerning,” said Dr. Simon Paul, Madera County Public Health Officer. “Residents should continue to stay vigilant by limiting gatherings, practicing social distancing, and wearing a mask. All approved vaccines are believed to be effective against this variant and I strongly recommend residents get vaccinated to protect themselves and their families.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. The U.K. variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants and in January 2021, experts in the UK reported that this variant may be associated with an increased risk of death compared to other variant viruses, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding. CDPH considers variant B.1.1.7 to be a variant of concern because it is thought to be more contagious and likely to cause greater illness or severe disease. As of March 19, there were 471 known cases caused by variant B.1.1.7 in California.
For information on the COVID-19 vaccine or to make an appointment please visit www.maderacounty.com/covid19vaccine For questions, utilize the community feedback form or call Madera County 311.