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DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado Governor Jared Polis held a news conference comes after the first case of the COVID-19 variant in the United States was discovered in Colorado on Tuesday.

Gov. Polis was joined by Dr. Rachel Herlihy, State Epidemiologist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Dr. Eric France, Chief Medical Officer, CDPHE, and Dr. Emily Travanty, PhD, Scientific Director, Laboratory Services Division, CDPHE.

The Colorado State Laboratory said the person is a man in his 20s who is currently in isolation and has no travel history.

There is also a second possible variant case. The confirmed case and possible case are both National Guard personnel who have been working at an assisted living facility in Simla. The National Guard personnel did not arrive to the facility until Dec. 23.

The confirmed case is isolating at home in Arapahoe County. The other possible case is isolating at a hotel in Lincoln County.

Other testing is now underway to determine whether or not the variant is spreading in the assisted living facility.

Contact tracing is underway to determine who may have been exposed.

This variant is believed to be more contagious than previously identified strains. However, it is believed that the currently approved vaccines will still be effective against it.

Scientists believe that the same steps that are taken to lower COVID-19 transmission will be effective in reducing the spread of the new variant.

  • Wearing a mask
  • Staying 6-feet apart, remaining socially distant
  • Washing your hands