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United Kingdom COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 found in Hillsdale County

covid testing
Posted at 6:24 PM, Apr 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-01 18:24:55-04

JACKSON, Mich. — COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 that originated from the United Kingdom has been identified in Hillsdale County.

The person who tested positive has been in isolation since the initial diagnosis, according a release by the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency.

The variant has been found throughout the United States. The first recorded case in Michigan was in January.

"Since the variant is more contagious, the virus could potentially infect more people with less exposure," Branch-Hillsdale-St. Jospeh Community Health Agency Health Officer Rebecca Burns said.

Current tests and vaccines for COVID-19 work against this new variant, health officials say.

"It is imperative our community strengthen prevention measures by wearing masks, physically distancing, avoiding crowds, washing hands frequently and getting vaccinated when it becomes available to you," Burns said.

Recently, the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency opened up COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone 16 and older.

COVID-19 rates have been on the rise since the beginning of March. Hillsdale County has a 23.9 percent daily positive test rate with a seven-day average of 17 percent. Numbers are updates as of March 30.

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