UK variant of COVID-19 detected in Hamilton County

COVID-19 testing
Posted at 1:16 PM, Feb 22, 2021

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ohio — A COVID-19 variant, commonly known as the UK variant, has been discovered in Hamilton County, Hamilton County Public Health officials said on Monday.

Hamilton County is one of at least 11 Ohio counties known to have detected the variant, officially labeled as B.1.1.7 lineage. The variant was also discovered at a Covington, Kentucky lab in January.

Hamilton County Public Health officials have completed contact tracing on the patient, who has cleared the quarantine period. The test was taken on Jan. 30, and the variant was detected during routine surveillance of tests, which are submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hamilton County Public Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman said he and his agency have known about the variant for some time.

“From a prevention standpoint, the response remains the same: Wear a mask, maintain at least six feet of physical distance, wash hands often and stay home when you are ill. Also, consider taking vaccine when you are eligible,” Kesterman said in a statement.

According to the CDC, the variant is estimated to have first emerged in the UK during September 2020. Several countries have reported cases of the variant since Dec. 20, including the U.S.

The UK variant is associated with more efficient and rapid transmission, the CDC says, and UK scientists reported evidence that suggests the variant may be associated with increased risk of death compared to other variants.

Click here for more information about the variants of the virus from the CDC's website.