UK COVID-19 Variant Arrives in Santa Barbara County
Source: Public Health Department
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department (PHD) has been notified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) of two county residents who tested positive for the B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the U.K. variant. These cases are unrelated and neither case reported travel abroad. Both individuals completed their isolation period and are no longer infectious. The PHD Disease Control and Prevention Unit will continue investigating the case and completing contact tracing efforts. No other cases have been identified with this variant.
CDPH issued a Health Alert on February 25, 2021 regarding the increasing identification of COVID-19 virus variants in California, in the U.S., and internationally. CDPH’s alert details the current virus variants of concern, consisting of the B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1. As of yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has declared the variants B.1.429 and B.1.427 as variants of concern as well. B.1.429 and B.1.427 are prominent locally. Only two cases of B.1.1.7 have been identified in Santa Barbara County.
As of March 11, 2021, there were 265 known cases caused by variant B.1.1.7 in California.
CDPH considers Variant B.1.1.7 to be a variant of concern because it is thought to be more contagious and likely to cause greater illness or severe disease.
“The discovery of this concerning variant in our community serves as a reminder that we are still in a pandemic and things may shift quickly in the wrong direction if we let our guard down,” shared Van Do-Reynoso, Public Health Director. “It is critical that everyone continue wearing their masks, practicing social distance, and limiting gathering. If you have tested positive or have been exposed to a positive case, please adhere to isolation and quarantine guidelines.”
For more information about the COVID-19 guidance and the local response, please visit https://publichealthsbc.org.