Summit County, Utah (February 1, 2021) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) confirmed the state’s third case of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant, frequently referred to as the ‘UK variant’. The case was discovered through ongoing genetic sequencing of positive COVID-19 samples by the Utah Public Health Laboratory (UPHL).

The case is a 20-44 year old female from Summit County.

“We fully anticipated we would find this strain in Utah. We know this strain is more transmissible than previous COVID-19 variants, and our hospitals continue to operate near or over capacity. So now, more than ever, Utah residents need to wear masks, practice physical distancing, and avoid large gatherings.,” said Dr. Angela Dunn, state epidemiologist at the UDOH in a press release announcing the UK variant on January 15.

In addition, the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved for use are believed to be effective against this strain. The UK variant is believed to be more contagious than other strains of the COVID-19 virus. Frequent hand washing and sanitization, wearing a mask and social distancing are all measures that can mitigate the spread of all strains of COVID-19.