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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: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5061240

Reported Deaths: 74159
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152548627128
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581504
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus912991413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058629
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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