COVID-19 variants in SW Colorado raise concerns

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- COVID-19 variants have been identified in southern Colorado.

One case was identified in Archuleta County and the other was in La Plata County.

“"We’ve identified two cases of b1427," said Brian Devine," said deputy incident commander for COVID-19 at San Juan Basin Public Health. "This is popularly known as a California or West Coast variant“

Health officials say its presence in southwest Colorado raises concern.

"There is some preliminary evidence that this variant may be more easily transmitted, so it may be easier for people to acquire the virus," Devine said. "You may actually need to inhale less of it in order to develop an infection, which will be very concerning”

People can still protect themselves fromt the variant by wearing a mask, social distancing and getting vaccinated when it’s their turn.

"There’s no reason to believe that vaccines would not be effective for this particular variant and other variants that we are aware of,” Devine said.