COVID variant confirmed in Kitsap County for the first time

A new variant of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Kitsap County, according to the Kitsap Public Health District. 

This particular strain first emerged in the United Kingdom and has made its way to the United States. Kitsap Public Health District said this is the first time the variant has been confirmed in the county. 

The B.1.1.7 variant poses an increased risk to public health because it spreads more easily from person to person, according to the Washington Department of Health. 

Studies also indicate the variant is more likely to cause severe illness and death.

The current vaccines are effective against the new strains.

After declining throughout January and February, COVID-19 activity is now increasing in Kitsap County, according to health officials.

The rate of new cases reported per 100,000 population over 14 days rose from less than 70 at the start of March to about 90 last week.

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