Man who tested positive for more contagious coronavirus variant is Colorado National Guard soldier

The soldier, who is in his 20s, was deployed at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Simla, where the Colorado National Guard was responding to an outbreak at the facility

Colorado health officials say the man who tested positive for a COVID-19 variant that has raised alarms because it is thought to be a more contagious version of the disease is a Colorado National Guard soldier.

Colorado National Guard members conduct COVID-19 testing at a drive up testing site in Greeley, Colorado, April 23, 2020. Nearly 70 Colorado National Guard members from the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yiald (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) tested residents in the Greeley area. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer)

The man appears to be the first confirmed U.S. case of the variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom. He has not traveled internationally, however, suggesting the variant was already circulating in Colorado.

The guard member, who is in his 20s, was deployed at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Simla, where the Colorado National Guard is responding to an ongoing outbreak. Simla is about 50 miles northeast of Colorado Springs.

A second guard member who was deployed to the nursing home has tested positive for COVID-19 is being investigated as potentially having the variant, too, state health officials say. That person also has not traveled internationally recently.

The guard members were tested on Dec. 24.

The Colorado National Guard arrived at the facility on Dec. 23. A total of six guard members were deployed to the facility, four of whom have not tested positive for coronavirus.

To read the rest of the Colorado Sun article, click here.

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