U.K. COVID-19 Variant Found In Elkhart County
The Elkhart Co. Health Dept. has announced that a confirmed case of the U.K. variant of COVID-19 has been detected in the county.
Elkhart County Health Officer Dr. Bethany Wait said a more contagious variant makes indoor gatherings among unvaccinated people – even small gatherings, with masking and distancing – more dangerous.
“That’s how this virus thrives," Wait said. "It likes to spread from person to person and it’d rather do it all at one time rather than at individual places.”
Wait said the county has had several small outbreaks in the last two weeks from indoor gatherings, and she emphasized the need for good air circulation and social distancing when people gather in groups.
Wait said the county is “in a race” to vaccinate as many people as possible before the virus mutates further. But, she said if the majority of county residents get the vaccine when they’re eligible, the virus’s spread will slow and new variants will become less likely.
(You can read more in the release below.)
The Indiana Department of Health Laboratory (IDOHL) has notified Elkhart County Health Department’s Health Officer, Dr. Bethany Wait, that a B.1.1.7 COVID-19 Variant was collected over the weekend. The case is still under investigation. As further information is made available, we will notify the public.
Information about the B.1.1.7 Variant The B.1.1.7 variant is from the mutations found in the United Kingdom. The variant is more easily transmittable which could lead to more infections and increase hospitalizations and deaths. Genetic testing will continue to be performed on specimens collected in Elkhart County. The presence of this variant in our community makes vaccinations even more essential for our community. Please consider vaccination of COVID-19 if you are eligible. All vaccines are still effective against the variant.
If you feel sick, please get tested. The free testing facilities are located at the Concord Mall, Shanklin Park in Goshen, and the Anglemyer Clinic in Nappanee.
Be vigilant with mitigation efforts. Wear a mask, be socially distant, wash your hands often, and use hand sanitizer in-between hand washings.