By Outer Banks Voice on January 23, 2021
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) is reporting the first identification in a North Carolina resident of the COVID-19 variant called B.1.1.7, which was first detected in the United Kingdom in December. The B.1.1.7 variant was identified in a sample from an adult in Mecklenburg County processed by Mako Medical Laboratories. To protect the privacy of the individual, no further information will be released.
In the United States, 195 cases of B.1.1.7 had been reported in 21 states as of Jan. 22, 2021. Early data suggest that this variant may be more contagious than other variants. Current COVID-19 vaccines are expected to be effective against the new variant.
“While expected, identification of this COVID-19 variant in North Carolina is concerning, especially at the same time as we are already seeing very high numbers of cases,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD. “It is more important than ever to practice the 3Ws.”
State health officials advise people to stay home except for essential activities and avoid gathering, especially indoors, with people who do not live with you. If you absolutely must travel or be with people you do not live with, get tested in advance, keep it small and outdoors and always wear a mask.
The NCDHHS reported 7,181 cases of COVID-19 on Jan. 23. There were another 122 deaths reported while hospitalizations declined again, by 96. The percentage of positive cases reported today increased to 10.9%.
Note: Every morning, the NC Department of Health and Human Services posts updates the number of reported cases of coronavirus. That number reflects positive results from all tests, including the NC State Laboratory of Public Health and all hospital and commercial labs. There may be other reports, from the media and elsewhere, that will include different numbers during a given day, but this is an effective way of tracking numbers from the same source on a day-to-day basis. SOURCE: NC DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
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