COVID-19 variant case confirmed in Pennsylvania

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HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed a case of the new mutated strain of COVID-19 in the commonwealth.

According to a release from the Department of Health, the strain, named “SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7”, is the same variant that was discovered in England in December.

The individual who had tested positive is said to have suffered mild symptoms which have subsided after quarantining at home. Contact tracing was performed and individuals at risk for having contracted the virus were notified. The release did not state where the individual is from, only that they had recently returned from a trip to England.

A statement released by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachael Levine said:

“Pennsylvania has been preparing for this variant by working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” . . . “There is still much to learn about this new variant, so we need to remain vigilant and continue to urge Pennsylvanians to stop the spread by washing their hands, practicing social distancing, avoiding gatherings, downloading COVID Alert PA and answering the call. Stay calm, stay alert and stay safe.”

The CDC expects that the new variant will be able to be detected by the same tests used for the base COVID-19 strain. They also expect that the vaccine currently in distribution will be effective against this new strain.

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