BREAKING: Another New Variant Of COVID-19 Detected In St. Joseph Co., IN
Monday morning, St. Joseph Co. health officials announced another new variant of the coronavirus has been detected in the county.
Deputy County Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox said the "California" variant is less contagious than the U.K. variant, which was identified in the county earlier this month. But, he said it’s still about 20 percent more contagious than the original strain, and it doesn’t seem to be as sensitive to the current vaccines.
Fox said that shouldn't stop people from getting their shots. He said they’ll still provide some protection, and will ultimately keep new variants from emerging.
“Even though this variant may not be as responsive to the vaccines, they will help decrease the conditions that allow different variants to flourish,” Fox said.
Fox said if community members want to stop the spread of more contagious variants, all they have to do is carefully follow the mitigation strategies – wearing a mask, washing their hands, and keeping their distance from anyone outside their household.
(You can read more in the release below.)
St. Joseph County- A case of COVID-19 caused by the B.1427 (California) variant has been identified in St. Joseph County. Under guidance from the Indiana Department of Health, there is ongoing surveillance testing of positive COVID-19 samples in Indiana. This surveillance effort is intended to provide insight into the proportion of cases caused by a variant strain. There is no difference in the clinical treatment or mitigation strategies recommended. Vaccine uptake remains crucial in limiting the impact of COVID-19 variants. For current eligibility, please visit www.ourshot.in.gov. On March 31, 2021, eligibility is expected to open to all individuals aged 16 and older.
With this identification, the St. Joseph County Department of Health urges the continuation of the following actions, even after vaccination:
- Wear a facial covering (should fit snuggly over the mouth and nose) anytime you are around people not in your household.
- Practice extreme physical distancing.
- Maintain at least 6ft between individuals. o Wearing a mask does NOT eliminate the need for physical distancing.
- Practice frequent and proper hand hygiene & cough etiquette. o
- Wash hands often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap & water; coughing and sneezing into your sleeve.
- Stay home if ill.
- Limit indoor social gatherings to fewer than ten people.
- Get the COVID-19 vaccine when you are eligible.
For all COVID-19 testing sites in St. Joseph County, you can view an interactive map at https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2524.htm. Please be aware each site may have different criteria for testing and may not be up to date. For more information on COVID-19, visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.in.gov/isdh and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov. For general questions as it relates to COVID-19 infection, please call 2-1-1.