DEVELOPING: MDHHS reports first case of COVID variant detected in Michigan

The Barren River District Health Department reported new COVID-19 numbers (AP)
The Barren River District Health Department reported new COVID-19 numbers (AP)(AP)
Published: Jan. 16, 2021 at 3:46 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) (1/16/2021)-Michigan has detected its first case of a new COVID-19 variant, according to a Saturday news release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Health officials identified the state’s first case of B 1.17 Saturday in an adult female living in Washtenaw County.

MDHHS confirmed the patient had recently returned from the UK.

Two close contacts have also tested positive for the virus but it is unclear whether they are infected with the new variant.

For now, this case marks the only known occurrence of the new variant in the state to date.

As it stood at the time of publication, 16 other states in the U.S had identified cases involving variants.

“The discovery of this variant in Michigan is concerning, but not unexpected,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS explained in a Saturday news release. “We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic as quickly as possible. We continue to urge Michiganders to follow a research-based approach by wearing their masks properly, socially distancing, avoiding crowds, washing their hands often, and making a plan to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it is their turn.”

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