The Denver Post reports:
Colorado public health officials on Tuesday confirmed the presence of the new variant of COVID-19 first discovered in the United Kingdom, saying the state is the first to identify the strain in the United States.
The variant is believed to be as much as 70% more contagious, but not more severe in symptoms, than previous strains of the novel coronavirus. It is also thought the COVID-19 vaccines the state began distributing earlier this month will protect against the variant, according to a news release from Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ office.
Colorado’s state lab confirmed the presence of the strain in an Elbert County man in his 20s. The person is isolating and will remain so until public health officials clear him. He has no history of traveling, according to the news release.
Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK.
The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely. pic.twitter.com/fjyq7QhzBi
— Governor Jared Polis (@GovofCO) December 29, 2020