Two Santa Barbara County residents tested positive for the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant — also known as the U.K. variant.
Both cases were found to be unrelated to each other, and neither traveled abroad. Both individuals completed their isolation period, so they are no longer actively infectious. The U.K. variant is considered a cause for concern by the state department of Public Health because it is more contagious and likely to cause greater illness or severe disease.
“The discovery of this concerning variant in our community serves as a reminder that we are still in a pandemic and things may shift quickly in the wrong direction if we let our guard down,” said Van Do-Reynoso, Public Health director. “It is critical that everyone continue wearing their masks, practicing social distance, and limiting gathering. If you have tested positive or have been exposed to a positive case, please adhere to isolation and quarantine guidelines.”
As of March 11, there were 265 known cases caused by the U.K variant in California.