SAN BENITO COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Two cases of a variant first detected in South Africa and one case of a variant first detected in the U.K. have been identified in San Benito County.
The two cases of the variant from South Africa were from tests collected on March 1. The cases were reported to San Benito County Public Health Services nine days later, but the agency said the cases were not investigated at first because the protocol cutoff is on day six.
Both cases were from the same household, according to the agency, and they have conducted contact tracing and case investigation.
The case involving a variant from the U.K. was found in a test collected on March 15. Public Health Services said it has conducted contact tracing and case investigation, and the patient has followed isolation protocols.
"The arrival of these variants in the county and state were expected, as they are spreading across the nation and in other countries. Fortunately, all three approved vaccines are effective against these variants. But we are clearly in a race between getting the community vaccinated and the spread of more infectious and possibly more severe coronavirus variants. Everyone should get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. As of April 15th, all adults 16 years and older will be eligible for vaccination," said interim health officer Dr. David Ghilarducci.
Two cases of the variant from the U.K. have already been detected in Santa Cruz County. Some variants appear to be twice as easy to pass between people and can be more severe.