VDH confirms first cases of COVID-19 variant from Brazil in Virginia

Richmond Public Schools says an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
Richmond Public Schools says an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.(Coronavirus graphic)
Updated: Apr. 16, 2021 at 4:34 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed the first cases of the COVID-19 P.1 variant in Virginia.

The variants were identified in two samples from two adults. One case was from a person in the Northwest Region who had a history of domestic travel and the second was from a person in the Eastern Region with no history of travel.

VDH said neither of them was vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to the illness.

The P.1 variant was first found in travelers from Brazill in late 2020 and is associated with increased person-to-person transmission. The variant has been found in at least 22 other states.

The P.1 variant was found in labs by using next-generation sequencing.

“Of the 674 variants of concern reported to VDH to date, the majority have been identified as B.1.1.7 (78.5%), followed by B.1.351 (9.5%), B.1.427 (8.0%) and B.1.429 (3.7%). It is very likely that these variants are more common in our communities than the number of reported cases suggest. This is because not all COVID-19 positive samples are tested to see what variant type they are,” VDH said.

As of April 16, Virginia has administered 5,105,585 COVID-19 vaccine doses. Of Virginia’s population, 38.7% have received at least one dose and 23.5% of Virginians are fully vaccinated.

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