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UK Variant Detected In Tuolumne County

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Sonora, CA — The more easily transmissible UK variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed for the first time in Tuolumne County.

Interim Public Health Officer, Dr. Eric Sergienko, says the person contracted it via “community transmission.”  Dr. Sergienko adds that the person had not been vaccinated and went to receive a test after experiencing symptoms. Public Health is not releasing whether it was a man or woman but indicates that the individual was between the ages of 20-50.

The person tested positive for COVID-19 in late April, and the sample was further analyzed by the State Public Health Department, as some others have been. The UK variant was confirmed yesterday and information was relayed to local officials late last night.

Dr. Sergienko says it is something for the community to be “aware of” and “mindful of.” He notes that when other states have experienced recent spikes in cases it has primarily been related to an increase in the UK variant. California is on the low end of COVID-19 transmission currently and says he would like to see it remain that way. He continues to encourage local residents to stay home if sick, physical distance and wear a face covering when in groups.

He also urges everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine, as all three (Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer) have levels of protection against variants. Dr. Sergienko indicates that early studies showed Pfizer and Moderna to be around 95-percent effective against COVID-19, and it is likely between 80 to 90 percent effective against the variants.

The UK variant had already been detected in nearby Stanislaus County as well as in the wastewater in Yosemite National Park.

Tuolumne County Public Health also adds that a Johnson & Johnson vaccine clinic, for those wanting just the single dose option, is scheduled for this coming Tuesday. Appointment details can be found via MyTurn. Information about vaccines can be found here. 

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