VDH reports 1st case of UK COVID-19 variant in Southwest Virginia region


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RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Department of Health has found the first case of the COVID-19 variant from the United Kingdom in the southwest region of Virginia.

The variant was identified in samples from three adult residents in Southwest Virginia who had no history of travel during their exposure periods.

VDH says they’ve investigated all three cases and their close contacts and managed them appropriately.

As of Friday, the VDH says the Commonwealth has a total of 20 cases of the UK variant (B.1.1.7) and three cases of the South Africa variant (B.1.351).

The variant from the United Kingdom was first found in Virginia in late January. It is associated with more severe illness. The B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in 44 other U.S. states.

The VDH said viruses change and therefore they expect to see new variants of COVID-19 as time passes.

The Virginia Department of Health said the emergence of new variants in Virginia means residents need to comply with mitigation measures sure as mask-wearing, staying home, physical distancing, and more.

The department of health also reminded Virginians that they can download the COVIDWISE app or change their iPhone settings to receive exposure notifications via COVIDWISE Express.

For more information about COVID-19 variants, visit the VDH COVID-19 Testing website and the CDC New COVID-19 Variants website.

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