First Case of United Kingdom Coronavirus Variant Detected in California

SACRAMENTO – California has its first case of the Coronavirus variant originally detected in the United Kingdom, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The San Diego County Public Health Services notified CDPH of a patient with the variant COVID-19 virus strain . This is the first identification of the United Kingdom variant strain, sometimes called strain B.1.1.7 or VOC 202012/01, in California. The affected individual has no known travel history. Information about possible sources of infection is still being collected.

Colorado reported the first known case of the Coronavirus variant in the U.S. on Tuesday and was investigating a second possible case Wednesday.

Early data suggest that the United Kingdom Coronavirus variant strain may be more contagious but does not appear to be more severe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the COVID-19 vaccines should provide immunity to this strain.

“The detection of the first case of this United Kingdom variant strain in California is concerning,”  CHHS Secretary Mark Ghaly said. “As we learn more about how this patient contracted this strain, I want to stress the importance of continuing our mitigation efforts to prevent COVID-19 and this new strain. This includes masks, physical distance, and during this current surge in California, staying at home and not mixing outside households, and not traveling.”

Two other cases of the Coronavirus variant have been reported in Colorado. It is likely that additional cases will be identified in the United States and in California. However, you can protect yourself, your family and your community with these prevention measures:

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), call your health care provider.
  • If you believe you have been exposed, get tested. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.
  • Stay home except for essential activities and follow state and local public health guidance.
  • Keep interactions to people who live in your household.
  • Wear a cloth face mask when out in public.
  • Avoid non-essential travel and stay close to home; self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival if you leave the state.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work, school and other people if you feel ill.
  • Add your phone to the fight by signing up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
  • Answer the call if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or local health department tries to connect.



Image Sources

  • COVID variant: Shutterstock