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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: 206851

Reported Deaths: 2756
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah40371614
Washington26781248
Marion23425323
Clackamas18932235
Lane13908164
Jackson11535146
Deschutes1001882
Umatilla859387
Linn561181
Yamhill478279
Klamath477678
Polk399356
Douglas388483
Malheur361463
Josephine360672
Benton326522
Jefferson237039
Coos216637
Columbia192129
Union149924
Wasco144430
Lincoln143021
Crook129223
Hood River121633
Morrow115416
Clatsop10589
Baker101115
Curry71011
Tillamook6604
Grant5507
Lake4678
Harney4339
Wallowa1945
Gilliam801
Sherman671
Wheeler351
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3809710

Reported Deaths: 63356
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles124774424456
Riverside3016684627
San Bernardino2992894845
San Diego2818103771
Orange2730575113
Santa Clara1201632188
Kern1107991404
Sacramento1078211736
Fresno1029471724
Alameda896591277
Ventura816611031
San Joaquin747271440
Contra Costa70730813
Stanislaus634971070
Tulare49776849
Monterey43836432
San Mateo42681581
San Francisco37269556
Santa Barbara34613455
Solano33762266
Merced32313478
Sonoma30884317
Imperial28855741
Placer23589299
Kings23195247
San Luis Obispo21421261
Madera16638245
Santa Cruz16246208
Marin14206230
Yolo14160212
Butte12668194
Shasta12630233
El Dorado10396116
Napa1002680
Sutter9663113
Yuba648951
San Benito610963
Lassen578424
Tehama573463
Nevada491975
Humboldt449948
Mendocino434050
Tuolumne421271
Amador374047
Lake356345
Glenn243427
Siskiyou239637
Colusa228418
Calaveras220756
Del Norte14588
Inyo143438
Mono12954
Plumas7366
Modoc5585
Mariposa4657
Trinity4225
Sierra1160
Alpine890
Unassigned280
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