First U.S. coronavirus variant case is Colorado Guardsman working at assisted living facility

National Coronavirus Coverage

DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado State Laboratory reported Wednesday that the man who tested positive for the COVID-19 variant is National Guard personnel working at an assisted living facility in Simla, Colorado.

There is also a second possible variant case in the same county, who is also National Guard personnel working at the same assisted living facility. The National Guard personnel did not arrive at the facility until Dec. 23.

The confirmed case is isolating at home in Elbert County, southeast of Denver. The other possible case is isolating at a hotel in neighboring Lincoln County.

Further testing is now underway to determine whether or not the variant is spreading in the assisted living facility.

Authorities are also contact tracing to determine who else may have been exposed.

This variant is believed to be more contagious than previously identified strains. However, it is thought that the currently approved vaccines will still be effective against it.

On Wednesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that there has been a confirmed case of the same variant in California.

Scientists believe that the same steps that are taken to lower COVID-19 transmission will be effective in reducing the spread of the new variant:

  • Wearing a mask
  • Staying 6 feet apart, remaining socially distant
  • Washing your hands

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