Two cases of a variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 were reported for the first time in Clark County Thursday.

On Feb. 11 Clark County Public Health reported the two cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first detected in the United Kingdom last year and in Washington state in January. Public Health reported that one of the positive cases had traveled out of the country prior to testing, while the other appeared unrelated, suggesting the variant is circulating in Clark County.

Public Health noted that discovery of the variant doesn’t change the department’s response to COVID-19, adding that preventative measures already recommended for the original virus strain are effective at preventing spread of the variant.

Alongside the announcement of the new strain’s presence in Clark County, Public Health also reported 49 newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county Thursday. There were 376 active cases in the county, which are ones still in the isolation period.

Public Health’s report of additional cases put the county’s total at 17,706 since the outbreak began. COVID-19 deaths in the county remained at 204 in Thursday’s update.

There were 37 patients with confirmed COVID-19 hospitalized in Clark County as of Thursday, Public Health reported, with an additional 14 awaiting test results.

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