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The Springfield-Greene County Health Department was notified by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services that a Greene County resident tested positive for the UK variant B.1.1.7 of SARS-CoV-2. The individual tested positive at the beginning of March and their sample was randomly selected by the Center for Disease Control as part of their genomic surveillance program. The person had not traveled domestically nor internationally.
A variant has one or more mutations that differentiate it from other variants in circulation. Multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been documented in the United States. The B.1.1.7 variant is classified as a variant of concern by the CDC. The CDC says the B.1.1.7 variant is up to 50% more transmissible. There is also evidence of more severe disease based on hospitalizations and case
Recommended strategies for reducing the spread of disease are also effective against variants: wearing a mask, watching our distance, washing our hands, and getting vaccinated. Multiple studies have shown available vaccines have been proven effective against the B.1.1.7. variant, including one published by Yale University.
“We knew that it was only a matter of time before we located the variant in our community,” said Acting Health Director Katie Towns. “We will stay vigilant and watch closely the indicators we are using to monitor the situation currently, including case counts and hospitalizations. Disease will spread as we move toward removing occupancy limitations and now that we have evidence that this variant is in our community, it makes it more important than ever for people to get vaccinated as soon as possible and protect against the severity of illness associated with the variant.”
For vaccine opportunities, visit health.springfieldmo.gov/VaccineRegistration. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department, Missouri State University and area partners also invite our community to a COVID-19 vaccine mega event at Hammons Student Center on the Missouri State campus on April 8-9, 2021. For information, visit Vaccine417.com or call 417-874-1211.
Inquiries from the public can be made by contacting the Health Department’s call center at (417) 874-1211 or by email at [email protected].
Please note that the contact number for media inquiries has changed. Media may now contact the Health Department PIO Team by call or text at 417-380-2556 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Springfield-Greene County Health Department “Helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.” health.springfieldmo.gov | facebook.com/SGCHD | twitter.com/SGCHD
417-864-1658 227 E. Chestnut Expressway