DENVER (KDVR) — Two additional cases of a COVID-19 variant have been found in Colorado, bringing the statewide total to three, the state’s health department announced Thursday evening.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), in addition to the two new confirmed cases of the “B.1.1.7” variant, there is one possible case.
“The state gave isolation orders to the two confirmed and one possible case, and quarantine orders to their close contacts,” the CDPHE said in a statement.
One of the confirmed cases and the possible case is located at the Veterans Community Living Center at Fitzsimons in Aurora. It is operated by the Colorado Department of Human Services.
“Epidemiologists are closely monitoring the situation and are conducting an investigation on any further potential exposure,” the CDPHE said.
The first B.1.1.7 variants were discovered in the United Kingdom. On Dec. 29, the first case in the United States was found in Simla, Colorado.
The variant is more contagious than the more common form of COVID-19.
“Coloradans can protect themselves from the B.1.1.7 variant in the same ways they can protect themselves from the prominent SARS-CoV-2 strain by following public health protocols– hand washing, mask wearing, physical distancing, and avoiding gatherings,” the CDPHE said.
The state said its lab is now screening all samples for the “S drop out profile,” which is associated with B.1.1.7.
“CDPHE has also asked other labs in the state to submit batches of positive tests so they, too, can be screened,” the health department said.