Top Stories April 6, 2021

Virus variants roam Wyoming

by Jackson Hole Radio News

The Wyoming Department of Health says four different COVID-19 variants recognized by national and international experts as “variants of concern” have been found in Wyoming over the past several months.

The Wyoming Public Health Laboratory recently analyzed genetic sequencing from a large batch of positive samples collected from residents since November.

The new analysis, combined with previously reported results, showed at least 40 cases have involved the United Kingdom variant, known as B.1.1.7, more than 40 cases combined of two California variants, known as B.1.427 and B.1.429, and one with the South Africa variant, known as B.1.351.

Wyoming Epidemiologist Dr. Alexia Harrist says it is likely all four of these variants have represented some of the COVID-19 transmission in Wyoming over the past several months.

Dr. Harrist says, “Knowing these variants have been circulating in Wyoming doesn’t change our primary recommendations for the public. The best way for people to protect themselves from getting sick is to get a COVID-19 vaccine, which are available to the general public now throughout Wyoming.”

She also reminds the public to avoid large gatherings, wear facemasks when in public, and stay home when sick.