COVID-19 variant found in Colorado, 2nd case suspected: What we know today

Colorado officials identified the first known U.S. case of the COVID-19 variant that has been rapidly circulating across the U.K., and a second case in the area is suspected, reports CNN.

Here's what we know as of Dec. 30: 

1. The COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 was detected in a Colorado man in his 20s who has no travel history and is currently in isolation, according to a Dec. 29 tweet from the office of Gov. Jared Polis. 

2. Colorado officials believe they found a second local case of the variant, a county official said Dec. 30, according to CNN. Both the confirmed and suspected cases involve men who had been working at Simla, Colo.-based Good Samaritan Society assisted living facility, said Dwayne Smith, director of public health for Elbert County, Colo. There is "no indication at this point" that the virus has spread beyond the facility and into the larger community, Mr. Smith said.

3. "In addition to the reported case in Colorado, we expect that there will be additional cases that are likely to be detected in the coming days," CDC spokesperson Belsie González told CBS News.

4. Researchers have now identified the more transmissible variant in at least 17 countries outside the U.K., according to The Washington Post. 

5. While the variant appears to spread more easily, it isn't believed to make people sicker or more likely to die, U.K. scientists reported Dec. 29. 

6. Scientists believe both COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna will still be effective against the mutation.

More articles on public health:
COVID-19 pandemic 'not necessarily the big one,' top WHO official says
5 things we still don't know about COVID-19
Number of people willing to get COVID-19 vaccine rising, surveys find


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