DAVIS (CBS13) — The first-known local case of the South African B.1.351 COVID-19 variant has been detected in Yolo County, officials say.
UC Davis announced the find, which came as part of its Health Davis Together free COVID-19 testing operation, on Tuesday.READ MORE: 'Prime Suspect' Paul Flores Arrested In 1996 Disappearance Of Kristin Smart; Still No Remains Found
Officials say the person who tested positive is a Davis resident who is now under isolation. Contact tracing is underway and officials note that the person who tested positive had not already been vaccinated for COVID-19.
The variant is notable in that it appears to be more contagious than the more common SARS-CoV-2 virus – with initial findings showing a 50 percent higher transmission rate.READ MORE: Sacramento Hires Inspector General To Independently Review Police Use Of Force Cases
A total of 10 cases of B.1.351 have been detected in California so far, officials say, with some 32 other states also have confirmed cases of the variant.
UC Davis officials note that they have now detected two COVID-19 variants through the Healthy Davis Together initiative, the other being the B.1.1.7. that first rose to prominence in the United Kingdom.MORE NEWS: Lack Of Healthy Players Cuts Davis High School Football Season Short
Health officials have not commented on the condition of the person who tested positive for the South African variant in Davis, but they note the case is an example of why it is still imperative for people to continue to wear a mask and practice other behaviors to slow the spread of coronavirus.