The first reported U.S. case of the COVID-19 variant that has been seen in the UK has been discovered in Colorado, Governor Jared Polis said on Tuesday.
The coronavirus variant was found in a man in his 20s who is isolated southeast of Denver and has no travel history, public health officials said.
The Colorado State Laboratory has confirmed the variant of the virus and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been notified.
British scientists believe the new variant of the virus is more contagious than previously identified strains of SARS-CoV-2. The vaccines given now are believed to be effective against the variant, Colorado health officials said in a press release.
Public health officials are investigating other potential cases and performing contract research to determine the spread of the variant statewide.
“There is a lot we don’t know about this new variant of COVID-19, but scientists in the UK are warning the world that it is much more contagious. The health and safety of the Coloradans is our top priority, and we will be closely monitoring this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely, ”Polis said.
Polis and public health officials are expected to address the public on Wednesday.
The discovery of the new variant led the CDC to issue new rules on Christmas Day for travelers arriving in the United States from the United Kingdom, requiring that they present proof of a negative COVID-19 test.
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