Two cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant have been identified in Chippewa County, the Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD) said in a news release issued today.
With the identification of this UK variant, which has an increased transmissibility of approximately 50 per cent, the CCHD is urging the public to continue mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and getting a vaccine as soon as it becomes avaialble.
The full release is below:
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) notified Chippewa County Health Department (CCHD) that the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories identified the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 in two Chippewa County residents.
With the identification of a variant, additional measures must be put into place, including a 14- day quarantine versus the 10-day quarantine. CCHD is strongly urging the public to continue mask wearing, social distancing, hand washing and getting a vaccine as soon as it is available to you. At this time, the COVID-19 vaccines appear to be effective against the variant.
The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant is thought to have emerged in the United Kingdom and has since been detected in many countries and states. This variant is concerning because it is associated with increased transmissibility of approximately 50 per cent.
Actions to protect yourself and others from the B.1.1.7 variant include:
- Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as it is available to you.
- Wearing a mask around others.
- Staying six feet apart from others.
- Washing hands often.
- Ventilating indoor spaces.
COVID-19 testing (not antibody test) is available to individuals of any age, regardless of symptoms. Individuals under the age of 18 will need parent/guardian consent. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, shortness of breath, or had recent travel history should seek testing as well as those working with the public, living in congregate living facilities or have potentially been exposed.
For information on vaccine appointments, please visit here.