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U.S. sees first case of COVID-19 variant in Colorado, governor says

The new variant to COVID-19 had been circulating through Britain. It now appears to be near Utah in Colorado.

Pedestrians wear masks while crossing an empty road at the intersection of Market Street and 15th Avenue during the evening rush hour Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in downtown Denver.
Pedestrians wear masks while crossing an empty road at the intersection of Market Street and 15th Avenue during the evening rush hour Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, in downtown Denver.
David Zalubowski, Associated Press

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said Tuesday that the first reported case of the new coronavirus mutation that prompted shutdowns in the United Kingdom has been found in Colorado.

Colorado, as you know, is a neighboring state of Utah.

Polis tweeted a statement about the variant, saying health officials will monitor the case to see what happens next.

“Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK.

“The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely.”

The tweet included a statement from the governor, too, who said the state wants “to prevent spread and contain the virus at all levels.”

The coronavirus mutation has made headlines in recent weeks after it was found in the United Kingdom, prompting shutdowns across Europe.

Questions have been raised about whether the variant had arrived in the United States yet. Experts seem to agree the virus likely already made its way stateside since there has been so much travel.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said recently that Americans should assume that the new coronavirus variant found in the United Kingdom has already reached the United States.

“When you have this amount of spread within a place like the UK, you really need to assume that it’s here already … it certainly is not the dominant strain but I would certainly not be surprised at all if it is already here.”

Similarly, Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently told CNBC the new mutation of the novel coronavirus in the United Kingdom “is already in the United States.”

“I don’t think a travel ban, at this point, is going to prevent this mutated strain from coming into the United States,” Gottlieb said, according to CNBC.. “We’re going to have an epidemic that continues to build over the course of the next three or four weeks, we’ll reach a peak, and then we’ll start to see infection rates decline as we see vaccinations get rolled out.”