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Coronavirus Variant Detected In Eaton County

Illustration of Virus
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

A variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Eaton County.

The B.1.1.7 mutation first turned up in Great Britain and appears to be more contagious than the original virus that causes COVID-19. Its first Michigan appearance was in Washtenaw County last month.

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department says the individual was identified as having the variant late Sunday.

Anne Barna is with the health department. She stresses that the safety protocols we’ve become accustomed to also work to prevent the spread of B.1.1.7. “The things that work against B.1.1.7 are the same things that work against regular COVID," says Barna. "You know, masking and social distancing precautions. This makes wearing a mask, staying six feet apart from others, washing our hands and not being without a mask inside with other people incredibly important."

Barna says the person has not been hospitalized, but no other information is being released while an investigation continues.

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