Colorado Governor Jared Polis held a news conference Wednesday after his state reported theof the United Kingdom-identified variant of COVID-19 in the United States.
The press appearance comes a day after the Colorado State Laboratory confirmed the a case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7. and informed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Studies suggest that this strain of the virus is, although health officials believe current COVID-19 vaccines should still work to protect against it.
A Colorado health official appearing with Polis Wednesday said the new variant appears capable of spreading from person to person more quickly, but does not appear to be more deadly.
Health officials are uncertain exactly why this particular strain is more infectious, although they believe it may require fewer particles of the virus for a person to become more sick.
Polis said the goal is to vaccinate those in nursing homes as quickly as possible. He’s also requesting permission from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to have Colorado nursing homes stop allowing visitors. The governor said Coloradans ages 70 and older will be able to begin getting their vaccines this week.
Polis and his partnerlast month.