Carson City Health and Human Services (CCHHS) is reporting the first case of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant in the Quad-County Region. The Nevada State Public Health Lab confirmed the detection of the variant in a Carson City resident. The individual has no travel history and no known exposures. The Health Department is conducting extensive contact tracing on the confirmed case to reduce the spread of the variant.

The B.1.1.7 variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom in the fall of 2020, spreads more easily and quickly than other variants according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. Current ongoing studies suggest that the antibodies generated through vaccination with the currently authorized Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines recognize this variant. However, it is still unknown how this variant affects the authorized vaccines – studies are still underway.

Health officials are urging the public to stay diligent with COVID-19 prevention measures such as wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings, staying home when sick, practicing proper hand hygiene, and getting vaccinated when eligible.

For more information on the B.1.1.7 and other COVID-19 variants, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant.html.