LANSING — A case of the P.1 of Brazil COVID-19 variant has been identified in a Bay County resident, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) said.
The Bay County Health Department has been notified and is investigating the individual’s exposure history to attempt to identify the source.
The county is also contacting all close contacts of the individual and requiring a full 14-day quarantine.
“We are concerned about the discovery of another variant in Michigan,” Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director, said. “It is now even more important that Michiganders continue to do what works to slow the spread of the virus 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. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic as quickly as possible.”
Joel Strasz, a public health officer of the Bay County Health Department, said that the county has been seeing a rise in new variants.
“This is the second new variant of COVID-19 to be identified in Bay County since last week,” Strasz said. “The rise of these new variants definitely impact the progress we have made this year with vaccinations.”
The county’s health department has also investigated three cases of the B.1.1.7 variant recently.
The P.1 variant was first identified in travelers from Brazil during routine airport screenings in Tokyo in early January and has been associated with increased transmissibility. There are concerns that it may affect both vaccine-induced and natural immunity.
The CDC has reported 172 confirmed cases of P.1 cases from 22 states.
The MDHHS said that the current available vaccines are effective against the variants of COVID.