Contagious COVID strain here

The B117 variant first detected in the UK has made its way to Butte County

SARS-CoV-2 virion (Image courtesy of European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control)

One of the most contagious strains of COVID-19 has reached Butte County.

According to an announcement Monday (March 8) from Butte County Public Health, an adult diagnosed with coronavirus has the B117 variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom and has spread to 200 countries. Health officials had recorded 250 cases of B117 in California as of last Friday.

“Detection of a variant that spreads more easily is a reminder that even though case rates are declining in Butte County, we must maintain our vigilance and continue using protective measures against coronavirus until most of the population has immunity,” Dr. Robert Bernstein, county public health officer, said in the news release. “We cannot let down our guard.”

Moving toward community immunity, Butte County expanded vaccination clinics this week, with efforts dependent on allocations from the state (see “Vaccine supply lags demand”). County Public Health updates the Vaccinate Butte webpage when appointments become available.

Meanwhile, to help prevent transmission of all COVID strains, BCPH continues to recommend wearing face coverings in public, social distancing, hand hygiene, avoiding large gatherings, staying home when feeling sick and getting tested even if asymptomatic.

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