JACKSON COUNTY, Mich. — Today Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) identified the B.1.351 variant of COVID-19 in a child.
MDHHS alongside the Bureau of Laboratories is currently conducting an investigation to determine if there are any additional cases associated with the new citing.
The variant was originally found in South Africa last year, and shares some mutations with the B.1.1.7. variant. Currently, this is the only case of the B.1.351. variant identified in Michigan.
“We are concerned about the discovery of another variant in Michigan, although it was not unexpected,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “We continue to urge Michiganders to follow a research-based approach by wearing their masks properly, socially distancing, avoiding crowds, washing their hands often, and making a plan to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it is their turn. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic as quickly as possible.”
So far Michigan has identified 516 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in 23 Michigan jurisdictions.
Jackson County vaccine updates are also available by calling the COVID Vaccine Information Line at 517-817-4469. More information is available here.