Traverse City News and Events

Two Cases Of B.1.1.7 Variant Identified In Grand Traverse County

By Beth Milligan | March 29, 2021

Two cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 - a variant that originated in Great Britian and spreads approximately 50 percent more easily than other variants - have been identified in Grand Traverse County.

The Grand Traverse County Health Department announced the detection of the variant Monday. “Initial and follow-up case investigations and contact tracing have been completed for these cases and their contacts,” the department said in a release. “A 14-day quarantine - without the option of ending quarantine early - is required for any close contacts of individuals who have been infected with the variant.”

There is no indication the B.1.1.7 variant affects clinical outcomes or disease severity, nor is there indication that vaccines are less effective against the variant than other strains. Still, because the B.1.1.7 variant appears to be significantly more transmissible, the health department is urging continued vigilance among residents including getting vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as eligible and possible, and continuing mask-wearing, social distancing, hand-washing, and other safety protocols. Health officials also encourage anyone with COVID-like symptoms to get tested in order to slow the community transmission of the disease, including new variants.

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