CASPER, Wyo. (AP) – Wyoming county health officials have discovered the South African variant of the coronavirus.
The Teton County Health Department said Monday that a sample of a resident who tested positive for COVID-19 in January revealed the variant, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. Health officials said the person, who has not yet been identified, did not travel before becoming infected.
The Ministry of Health has not announced any further cases of the variant.
The district health officer, Dr. Travis Riddell, has encouraged residents to get tested for the coronavirus if they experience symptoms or come in contact with someone who tests positive.
“Testing remains our best mechanism to identify people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and to work quickly to identify their tight contracts so we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community “said Riddell.
Health officials have recommended that residents should continue to follow safety guidelines such as wearing masks and social distancing.
Also on Monday, Wyoming governor Mark Gordon announced that the state would join a handful of others who have lifted the mandate to wear masks to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. The changes to the public health order will take effect on March 16.
The variant, first discovered in the UK, was first reported in Wyoming in January. This variant is expected to be the dominant variant in the US this month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough, which will improve in two to three weeks. Some – especially older adults and people with existing health problems – can develop more serious illnesses such as pneumonia and death.