COVID-19 Variant Found in Bay County

The UK variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Bay County. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has notified the Bay County Health Department that the variant, known as B.1.1.7., was confirmed in a middle aged resident with no known travel history.

The variant is thought to have emerged in the United Kingdom and has since been detected in many countries and states. It’s 50 percent more transmissible, leading to faster spread of the virus and potentially increasing numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. There had been 986 cases of the UK variant in Michigan as of late March.

With the high transmission rate of the variant and with spring break and the Easter holiday coming, The Bay County Health Department said vaccination is more important than ever. So far, the COVID-19 vaccines appear to be effective against the variant. They advise residents to continue taking precautions, including mask-wearing, distancing, washing hands and ventilating indoor spaces.