Health officials confirm first case of COVID-19 UK variant in Pasadena

The Pasadena Health Department says they have received their first confirmed case of the B.1.1.7 UK variant of COVID-19 which spreads more easily and quickly than other variants.

The person infected in Pasadena is an adult and the variant was identified through the California Department of Public Health genomic surveillance testing of laboratory specimens.

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According to health officials, the UK variant spreads quicker than other variants. But there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death. This variant was first discovered in September of 2020 and is now widespread in London and Southeast England.

To protect the privacy of the individual, no further information will be released, officials said.

"These cases illustrate why it is so important to limit non-essential travel and mixing households as much as possible during a pandemic. This is also a stark reminder that we cannot let our guard down. We are so thankful that so many Pasadena residents who are currently eligible are receiving the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, and that we are now in the red tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, but we are not out of the woods yet," said Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, health officer and director of Pasadena Public Health Department.

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"If you must travel, it is important to watch for symptoms of COVID-19, follow public health guidance on getting tested prior to travel, use careful protective measures during travel, and get tested after travel. If you’re traveling out-of-state, Pasadena residents are required to self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival in accordance with local and state travel advisories," the statement read.

As a reminder, even when fully vaccinated, it is important to follow the three Ws:

1) wear your mask,
2) wash your hands, and watch your distance
3) avoid crowds

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