First case of highly transmissible Covid-19 variant reported in Guilford County
The Guilford County Division of Public Health has reported a positive case of a highly transmissible Covid-19 variant in Guilford County as of Jan. 27.
This case is in isolation, the GCDPH said. This positive case’s sample was randomly selected for additional variant testing which returned positive for the B.1.1.7 variant.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 195 cases have been detected in 21 states.
“Due to the B.1.1.7 variant being highly transmissible, we are currently conducting contact tracing and will continue to heavily monitor this case. We are prepared to address future cases that contain variant strains with the same level of detail,” said Dr. Iulia Vann, Guilford County Public Health director.
Vann said wearing face covering, washing hands consistently and maintaining six feet of social distance remain paramount in fighting against the Covid-19 virus and any variants.
On Jan. 23, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported the first identification of the B.1.1.7 Covid-19 variant in Mecklenburg County.
“While expected, identification of this COVID-19 variant in North Carolina is concerning, especially at the same time as we are already seeing very high numbers of cases,” said Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
In Wednesday’s Covid-19 news conference, Cohen urged people to limit leaving their homes and to continue practicing the three W’s.
The CDC said it conducts random surveillance on Covid-19 test samples to further investigate for potential variant strains.
Although more contagious, there is no evidence that proves the variant causes more severe illness or increases the risk of death.
To date, Guilford had reported 34,165 Covid-19 cases and 390 deaths, with 2,160 cases in the past week. Guilford and the other 12 Triad counties were all listed as having critical community spread of the Covid virus in the N.C.’s most recent community alert report, which was issued on Jan. 21.