May 7, 2021 - Yesterday evening Mariposa County Public Health was notified by the California Department of Public Health that one of our residents who had previously tested positive for the COVID virus was further sequenced to see if the virus was a 'variant of concern' (VOC).
The results of this test showed that the virus was the B.1.1.7 or 'UK' variant. While we have been submitting specimens for sequencing for some time, this is the first time that B.1.1.7 has been identified in Mariposa.
The B.1.1.7 VOC is both more easily transmitted from person to person and has the potential to cause a more severe course of the disease.
The B.1.1.7 VOC has been previously identified in adjacent counties, as well as in the wastewater from Yosemite National Park.
The case was symptomatic after exposure outside of the state and tested in late April. The case is currently hospitalized in a facility outside of the county and the case was unvaccinated.
All of the currently available vaccines reduce the likelihood of becoming infected with COVID-19, including the B.1.1.7 variant. They have also been demonstrated to reduce the impact of disease should it develop in a vaccinated person.
In addition to vaccination, other measures to reduce the spread of COVID are still effective against the B.1.1.7 variant. These include maintaining social distance, wearing a facial covering, and staying home when you are sick.
Please remain vigilant in your efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Mariposa County. If you have not already been vaccinated, you can schedule your appointment by going to myturn.ca.gov or calling 1-833-422-4255.
Source: Mariposa County Health Department