The Springfield-Greene County Health Department said Friday they've confirmed a case of COVID-19 associated with a variant of the coronavirus. The health department was notified by the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services that the resident tested positive for the U.K. variant B.1.1.7 of Sars-coV-2.
The individual tested positive at the beginning of March, according to the health department, and their sample was randomly selected by the Center for Disease Control as part of their genomic surveillance program. That person had not traveled domestically or internationally.
The B.1.1.7 variant is classified as a variant of concern by the CDC, a news release states. It's up to 50 percent more transmissable, and there's evidence of more severe disease.
Recommended strategies to protect against the variant are wearing masks, watching distances, washing hands and getting vaccinated. Multiple studies have shown that the vaccines currently available are proven effective against the B.1.1.7 variant.
To find out where to get a vaccine, visit health.springfieldmo.gov/VaccineRegistration. A mass vaccination event will be held at Hammons Student Center on the Missouri State University campus April 8-9. For more information, visit Vaccine417.com or call 417-874-1211.