First Mutated COVID-19 Strain Detected in Colorado

Thursday, 31 Dec, 2020

Fears have been raised by the new strain of Covid-19, which experts say is potentially more transmissible.

Colorado health officials announced the nation's first known case of the COVID-19 variant originally discovered in the United Kingdom Tuesday. The man had no travel history and public health officials have so far not identified any close contacts of his, though the investigation is ongoing.

Biden is set to assume the presidency on January 20 and said his administration will prioritise a speedy vaccine rollout, expanding testing and funding states to help reopen schools safely.

Colorado officials are investigating a second "highly suspicious" but not yet confirmed case of a coronavirus variant potentially found in another COVID-19-positive patient.

The country's proportion of ICU patients who have coronavirus also rose from 16 per cent in September to 40 per cent last week, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. "We are now using all the tools available to protect public health and mitigate the spread of this variant".

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said that the man who tested positive is in his 20s, has not been traveling and is now isolating.

Researchers in the United Kingdom have said the variant found there doesn't seem to cause more severe COVID-19, though public health experts are concerned that the increase in transmission will lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.

A new and seemingly more contagious strain of the coronavirus was diagnosed this week in a Colorado National Guardsman, bringing about a slew of questions regarding its severity and lethality.

The two Guard members had been dispatched December 23 to work at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in the small town of Simla, in a mostly rural area about 90 miles outside Denver, said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state epidemiologist. The worry is that a more contagious variant of the virus could increase the number of new cases and put even more pressure on the health care system.

"All of the things we've been saying - wear a mask, practice social distancing and avoid mixing households - those mitigation strategies will continue to work", Griffin said.

The governor stressed that these fundamental public health measures are still vital. "We are working to prevent spread and contain the virus at all levels", Polis said in the news release.

"We have not only developed the vaccines, including putting up money to move the process along quickly, but gotten them to the states", he wrote.

A new statement from the governor of Colorado and from state health representatives is scheduled for Wednesday.