HARRISBURG, Pa. — The first case of the COVID-19 variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7, has been confirmed in Pennsylvania, in the central part of the state.
Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine made the announcement Thursday morning.
The confirmed case of the variant, the same one that was first discovered in England in December, is in Dauphin County, which is where Harrisburg is located.
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Levine said the person tested positive after known international exposure, and a case investigation and contact tracing were done.
The person had mild symptoms. Those symptoms resolved while they completed their isolation at home, a news release said.
“Pennsylvania has been preparing for this variant by working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has been sending 10-35 random samples biweekly to the CDC since November to study sequencing and detect any potential cases for this new COVID-19 variant,” Levine said in a statement. “Public health experts are in the early stages of working to better understand this new variant, how it spreads and how it affects people who are infected with it.”
Levine said there is still a lot to learn about the new variant and urged Pennsylvanians to remain vigilant.
Health officials expect that all currently available COVID-19 tests will detect the variant and that COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against it.