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A more-contagious coronavirus variant is discovered in California

The UC Davis Genome Center has detected a more contagious type of coronavirus which first emerged in Brazil. This has been identified in the test results of a person in Yolo County.

The new release from Healthy Davis together which is a joint project between the University of California, Davis and the city of Davis to prevent the spread of coronavirus said that this is the first-known case identified in Yolo County of the P.1 variant of the coronavirus.The contagious P.1 variant listed as a variant of concern by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This variant has now been detected in 31 states. California has reported 41 cases of P.1.

The P.1 variant is the third COVID-19 variant of concern detected in Davis, following the confirmation of the B.1.351 variant on April 6 and the B.1.1.7 variant in February. Health Officials said all three variants have higher transmission rates. They also added that the B.1.1.7 variant is now becoming the most common strain locally, which is similar to the pattern seen elsewhere.

The detection of another highly transmissible variant is concerning, especially as things begin to open up again and more people are out and about. Aimee Sisson, Yolo County Public Health Office said that it is as important as ever to embrace public health measures, including masking, physical distancing and regular testing, to keep the transmission of the virus as low as possible while we hasten our vaccination efforts.

The person who tested positive for the P.1 variant is an adult who lives in Davis and has not been vaccinated for COVID-19. This person has been notified and was under isolation Thursday. Contact tracing efforts were started within a few days of sample collection and testing.Each positive coronavirus test result conducted by Healthy Davis Together is automatically screened by the Genome Center for all currently known variants of concern, so that immediate action can be taken to alert and protect the community.

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