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Second person in Oregon tests positive for UK variant of COVID-19

A person in Yamhill County with no known travel history has tested positive for the COVID-19 variant, also known as B.1.1.7.

YAMHILL COUNTY, Ore. — A person in Yamhill County has tested positive for the fast-spreading COVID-19 variant first discovered in the United Kingdom, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced Saturday. 

This is the second case of the UK variant discovered in Oregon. 

OHA said the person has no known travel history. State and county public health officials are investigating possible sources of infection. 

The UK variant, also known as B.1.1.7, is thought by medical experts to be more contagious. 

Some reports suggest the variant might be more deadly compared to other coronavirus strains, but the evidence remains unclear. It's believed that available vaccines still provide immunity against the variant. 

Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during the pandemic. 

OHA recommends that all Oregonians take the following steps to slow the spread of infection:

  • Maintain six feet of physical distance;
  • Wear a face covering when outside the house;
  • Practice good hand hygiene;
  • Avoid any gatherings with people you don’t live with;
  • People who experience symptoms — even mild ones — are urged to consult with a medical provider quickly to get instructions on how to care for yourself and your household members and whether to get tested.

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