The first case of the more contagious B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant has appeared in Elkhart County.
According to the Elkhart County Health Department, the Indiana Department of Health Laboratory notified the county that the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant was collected over the weekend. The variant is from mutations that were first found in the United Kingdom. It is more easily transmittable, which could lead to more infections, increased hospitalizations, and deaths. As of March 16, the CDC reports 4,686 B.1.1.7 variant cases nationwide.
The Elkhart County Health Department released the following statement:
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.