Two COVID-19 variants detected in the District of Columbia


WASHINGTON (WDVM) — As the nation continues to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are finding more cases of variant strains of the virus.

According to D.C. Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, at least four District residents have tested positive for a COVID-19 variant.

She said, “The two variants that have been detected are the ones that have been circulating in the U.K. and South Africa.”

The CDC detected the variants in positive samples that were sent for testing. Now it is up to D.C. Health to work backward to find out more about each case.

While the variants are present in the District, other virus metrics are trending down.

Dr. Nesbitt said, “We are seeing declines in daily case rates. We’re seeing declines in hospitalizations, and we’re seeing declines in death. However, we’re seeing detection of a variant that has higher rates of transmission.”

Dr. Nesbitt reminded the District that it was inevitable for the variants to show up here.

She said, “This is not surprising to D.C. Health, but another opportunity to remind us to be cautious about our behaviors and patterns here.”

With continued fears on how to best protect ourselves, Dr. Nesbitt clarified if and when people should be doubling up their masks.

“People should wear masks that fit properly, and for some people, putting a cloth mask on top of a medical procedure mask ensures a better fit,” she said.

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