Variant strain of coronavirus confirmed in Pierce, Snohomish counties

Models of a coronavirus (edited with Photoshop) (Photo by Peter Endig/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Pierce County health officials have confirmed its first case of a coronavirus variant in an existing COVID-19 case.

County health officials said they have already conducted contact tracing for the case. The person had mild symptoms and completed their isolation period. 

"Our state and federal partners have been conducting additional surveillance testing on COVID samples to identify cases with variant strains. The patient had the B.1.1.7 variant, also called the UK variant because the strain was first discovered in the United Kingdom," the health department said in a release. 

The county urges everyone to do their part in fighting the virus: continue to wash your hands, maintain physical distance and wear a mask. Officials say the new information on a variant does not change how they plan to fight COVID-19.

Earlier this weekend, the first cases of this UK variant were confirmed in Snohomish County.

Cases were confirmed among two Snohomish County residents. 

The B.1.1.7 variant was originally detected in the UK in September of last year. DOH says the variant spreads more quickly and easily than any other variant. According to the CDC, there is no evidence showing the new coronavirus variant causes more severe illness or death.