More contagious COVID-19 variant identified in Washtenaw County woman, first confirmed case in Michigan

Posted at 3:14 PM, Jan 16, 2021

(WXYZ) — The COVID-19 variant that is believed to be more contagious has now been found in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the B.1.1.7. was found in a Washtenaw County woman. Officials say the woman had recently traveled to the United Kingdom, where this variant was first identified.

Contact tracing has been conducted and individuals who have had close contact with the woman have been identified and are in quarantine. Two people who had contact with the woman have tested positive for COVID-19, but it is not yet known if it is the new strain.

While the B.1.1.7. variant has been found to be more contagious, so far there has been no indication that it results in more serious cases of the virus.

“The discovery of this variant in Michigan is concerning, but not unexpected,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS in a news release. “We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic as quickly as possible. We continue to urge Michiganders to follow a research-based approach by wearing their masks properly, socially distancing, avoiding crowds, washing their hands often, and making a plan to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it is their turn.”

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