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Oregon identifies first case of COVID-19 variant first detected in the UK

The Oregon Health Authority says that it learned today about a Multnomah County resident who is positive for the COVID-19 variant.

Posted: Jan 15, 2021 6:23 PM
Updated: Jan 15, 2021 6:28 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — Officials at the Oregon Health Authority learned on Friday of a positive case for the coronavirus variant originally detected in the United Kingdom — the first known case in Oregon.

The individual was identified as a resident of Multnomah County with no known travel history.

The mutated COVID-19 strain, believed to be more contagious than the original, has been detected in several U.S. states now, including California.

“The detection of the first case of this variant strain is a concern, and we have been monitoring movement of this strain,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA. “As we learn more about this case and the individual who tested positive for this strain, OHA continues to promote effective public health measures, including wearing masks, maintaining six feet of physical distance, staying home, washing your hands, and avoiding gatherings and travel.”

Scientists have, at present, found two major variant COVID-19 strains — the U.K. variant, and another first detected in South Africa. Research on both of them is ongoing, with new information coming out by the day. Researchers are still working to discern more about how these variants spread, but the CDC says that there is no indication that the strains cause more severe illnesses or will cause the current vaccines to be ineffective.

"Viruses constantly mutate, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time," OHA said in a statement. "Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Most variants do not change how the virus behaves, and many disappear."

OHA said that staff with Multnomah County Public Health were working Friday night and would be through the weekend to find out more about the individual and their isolation plan, close contacts, and any possible sources of exposure.

“Confirming this strain locally is distressing,” said Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. “Until we have enough vaccine, we must continue using face masks, distancing, and limiting our social interactions.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 155597

Reported Deaths: 2208
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31877528
Washington21211212
Marion18468285
Clackamas13380175
Lane10258126
Jackson8395112
Umatilla765982
Deschutes595259
Yamhill378364
Linn359056
Malheur335158
Polk306442
Klamath279155
Douglas247454
Benton234416
Josephine234050
Jefferson195828
Coos149119
Union128419
Columbia126521
Wasco122126
Lincoln113220
Hood River106929
Morrow104914
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6567
Curry4296
Tillamook4142
Lake3766
Harney2736
Grant2231
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3566914

Reported Deaths: 52158
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119192321435
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2866072874
Orange2612203917
San Diego2600913284
Santa Clara1106211777
Kern102627827
Fresno953931443
Sacramento932811472
Alameda806681242
Ventura77623844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62248681
Stanislaus56132946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38998515
San Francisco34260412
Santa Barbara31805411
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28141298
Imperial26903591
Kings21955218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15467209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12834185
Shasta10985174
Butte10962160
El Dorado9095100
Napa903869
Sutter884597
San Benito576759
Yuba573337
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada396074
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador346341
Humboldt318033
Lake315641
Glenn222523
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
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