A second case of ‘super-COVID’ variant of coronavirus is now suspected in Colorado, officials said Wednesday.
Elbert County health director Dwayne Smith told CNN officials there are investigating a second man thought to have the more contagious strain first detected in September in the UK.
Governor Jared Polis revealed on Tuesday that the Colorado had confirmed the country’s first case in a man in his 20s with no recent travel history.
His lack of travel history was particularly alarming, because it means the man caught the virus locally, suggesting it is already spreading in the community.
Both he and the second man suspected of having ‘super-COVID’ had worked at the Good Samaritan Society assisted living facility in Simla, Colorado, which is in Elbert County.
Neither man resides in Elbert County, and Smith told CNN there is ‘no indication at this point’ that the new strain of coronavirus has traveled outside the facility where they worked.
A second man in Colorado is suspected to have the new, more contagious variant of coronavirus. Both he and the first confirmed patient had worked at the Good Samaritan Society assisted living facility in Simla, Colorado (pictured)
Each patient is isolating outside the county. It’s unclear if the two workers may have infected – or been infected by – at-risk residents of the facility.
Colorado is the first state in the US to confirm a case of the new strain.
Governor Jared Polis revealed the worrying news in a tweet, on Tuesday writing: ‘Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK. The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely.’
An attached statement said the Colorado State Laboratory confirmed the case and notified the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The strain – which is thought to be 70 per cent more infectious – was detected in a man in his 20s who is ‘currently in isolation in Elbert County and has no travel history.’
It is not believed that B.1.1.7 leads to more severe cases, and higher mortality rates have not been reported.
‘At this time, there is no evidence that this variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death,’ the CDC stated on their website.
So far, no cases or suspected cases have been reported outside the facility in Simla, about an hour and a half outside of Denver, but the first confirmed patient had no history of recent travel, suggesting the new strain is already spreading in Colorado
Governor Jared Polis released this statement saying the person infected is a man in his 20s who had not been traveling
Colorado’s governor made the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday