San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department officials say they've been notified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that a county resident had tested positive for COVID-19 have the B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the U.K. variant.
Health officials say they are investigating this case further, and so far no other cases of this variant have been identified in the County.
This individual reportedly completed their isolation period and is no longer infectious.
On March 17, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention further escalated the variants B.1.429 and B.1.427 from "variants of interest" to "variants of concern," and both are prominent statewide. More than seven of these variant cases were identified in SLO County weeks ago, before these variants were classified as variants of concern.
The CDC considers a variant "of concern" when there is evidence that it spreads more easily, causes more severe disease, and leads to increased hospitalizations and deaths.
"Our community can make it through this pandemic," said Dr. Borenstein. "It's going to take the collective efforts of our central coast community to stop these variants from spreading. Mask up, keep your distance, get tested if you've been exposed, and get the vaccine when it's your turn."
Health officials say at this time vaccines in use in the U.S. appear to remain effective against severe impacts of COVID-19, even against these variants.
This comes one day after two people in Santa Barbara County were reported to also of had the UK variant.