RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Friday that the first cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.1.7 have been identified in samples from three adult residents of Southwest Virginia.
The three residents had no history of travel during their exposure periods, according to the VDH. VDH investigated all three cases and their close contacts and managed them appropriately.
The B.1.1.7 variant first emerged in the United Kingdom in late 2020. To date, the B.1.1.7 variant has been identified in 44 other U.S. states or jurisdictions.
Virginia has now identified a total of 20 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant and 3 cases of the B.1.351 variant (first identified in South Africa).
VDH officials say public health recommendations, such as wearing masks correctly, staying at least six feet from others, avoiding crowds, washing hands often, getting vaccinated, and staying home if you are infected with COVID-19 or if you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 will work for all variants.