WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — There are now a total of six cases of the COVID-19 variant B117 in Michigan. Those cases include 5 residents in Washtenaw County and one man in Wayne County, health officials said Saturday.
Additional sequencing continues for other possible cases already positive for COVID-19.
Officials have also named possible exposure sites, adding that residents should take precautions because the B117 variant is much more easily transmitted.
Those locations include:
- Sun, Jan 17 at the Meijer on Ann Arbor Saline Rd., Ann Arbor MI from 9:00 to 10:00 am
- Sun, Jan 17 Briarwood Mall, 100 Briarwood Circle, Ann Arbor MI from 1:00 to 2:00 pm
You should be tested if you were at the above locations at the specified times.
“The possibility of additional spread of the variant is a concern,” says Juan Luis Marquez, MD, MPH, medical director with Washtenaw County Health Department. “At this point and with the guidance of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, we are encouraging extra precautions. Seek testing if you have symptoms, have recently been exposed to COVID-19, or have recently traveled to a place where the new variant is circulating. And everyone should make sure they are using all COVID-19 precautions consistently. This includes face masks, social distancing, hand cleaning, avoiding crowds or gatherings, and following isolation and quarantine guidance.”
The first Michigan case of the COVID-19 variant was identified in a woman back on Jan. 16. Officials say it's unclear if that case is linked to the most recent cases.
Symptoms may include: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, loss of taste, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.
“We have been warning people for weeks that this variant would likely be identified in the State of Michigan,” says Dr Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “We want everyone to understand that this variant is much more easily transmitted, and there is increased risk of rapid spread. Now is the time for people to take additional precautions and limit any potential exposures. Wear your mask, wash your hands, avoid gatherings, and make an appointment for a vaccine when it’s your turn. We all have a role to play in ending this pandemic.”