CDPHE identifies two variant COVID strain cases in Moffat County |

CDPHE identifies two variant COVID strain cases in Moffat County

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has notified Moffat County Public Health that a variant strain of COVID‐19 has been identified in two positive COVID cases within the county this week.

According to a press release from Public Health, the strain is identified as the B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the United Kingdom strain. Both positive cases with the variant strain were identified within a single household, Public Health said.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that the United Kingdom variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants. It is unknown at this time if the strain is more deadly than others.

“The discovery of a variant strain in Moffat County is of concern. However, it is not surprising and not a cause for alarm,“ said Dr. Allan Reishus, Moffat County Public Health Medical Officer. ”The finding of the new variant in Moffat County reinforces the fact that the pandemic is still with us. Mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding large groups, like we have all heard many times, still are needed. And the COVID‐19 vaccines, by all reports effective against the new variant, must be widely distributed to our families, friends and co‐ workers with haste. The vaccine is our vehicle out of this pandemic.“

Currently, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is the most widely available vaccine in Moffat County. In late January, Moderna issued a press release stating that early research indicates that its vaccine is still effective against most variants including B.1.1.7. The company added that it will continue to analyze effectiveness of vaccine.

Through Monday, March 8, 1,946 Moffat County residents have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine. This represents about 15% of the total population within Moffat County. Over 70% of residents who are 70 years old or older have been vaccinated.

In order to reduce the spread of the COVID virus, including the spread of a variant strain, the CDC recommends wearing a mask in public, staying physically distant from others, and washing your hands. The CDC also published new recommendations for those who are fully vaccinated.

CDC Recommendations

Fully vaccinated* people can:

– Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing

– Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing

– Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic

For now, fully vaccinated* people should continue to:

– Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing

– Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease

– Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households

– Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings

– Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms

– Follow guidance issued by individual employers

– Follow CDC and health department travel requirements and recommendations

*For the purposes of this guidance, people are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two or more weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), or two or more weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson and Johnson (J&J)/Janssen).

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