By Jennifer McRae

SIMLA, Colo. (CBS4)– A fifth person has died in the long-term care facility in Colorado where the first case of the new variant of COVID-19 in the U.S. was detected. The 78-year-old woman lived at Good Samaritan Society in Simla.

(credit: CBS)

The National Guard member who has the new variant was deployed to support staffing at the Good Samaritan Society in Elbert County. He is a man in his 20s with mild symptoms. There is a second possible case, and that person is also a National Guard member deployed to the same facility.

The facility has an ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 cases that were first identified in mid-December, following routine surveillance testing. All 26 residents tested positive for the coronavirus and until Thursday, four deaths have been reported. Additionally, 20 of 34 regular staff members at the facility have tested positive.

(credit: CBS)

The National Guard members deployed to the facility on Dec. 23 and were tested on Dec. 24.

They will both be ordered to quarantine for 14 days. The confirmed case is now isolating at home in Arapahoe County and the other possible case is isolating at a hotel in Lincoln County.

It is unclear whether any of the residents have the new variant of coronavirus.

Jennifer McRae