Tuesday, July 27, 2021

COVID-19 ‘Variant of Concern’ case identified in Lake County

Lake County Leader | April 27, 2021 7:00 AM

Lake County health officials this week confirmed that the first case involving a COVID-19 variant has been identified within the county.

The B.1.429 variant, one of the strains originally identified in California, was isolated in one of Lake County’s positive specimens, according to Emily Colomeda, health services director at the Lake County Health Department.

The acknowledgement comes on the heels of an April 20 Lake County Board of Health meeting, during which the county set requirements for large gatherings as the summer events calendar begins to kick into high gear.

County Commissioner Gale Decker’s motion, which was seconded and approved, outlined the following requirements:

  • Each event organizer should define the event’s CDC risk status as outlined in the CDC’s Events and Gatherings: Readiness and Planning Tool, which is available online.
  • If there is any change in the status of Lake County’s COVID-19 numbers (seven-day average case number), the guidance could be changed to outline restrictions on any event.
  • Any indoor event with more than 75% of maximum capacity of the building, will require event organizers to submit an event plan to Lake County Public Health.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has three categories for emerging variants of the virus, which has been determined as a cause in nearly 570,000 deaths in America: Variants of High Consequence; Variants of Concern; and Variant of Interest. The local case involves a variant in the middle category.

According to the CDC, a Variant of Concern is one “for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g., increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.”

On Monday the health department reported 15 active cases with no current covid-related hospitalizations. The county has identified 37 covid-related deaths.

The most recent state data, updated Monday, show 23,474 vaccine doses have been administered in Lake County, with 10,939 of 24,181 (45 percent) eligible people fully immunized.

Visit www.mtreadyclinic.org for information on local vaccination clinics and to make an appointment.