By Raetta Holdman

(CBS4) – The arrival of new strains of coronavirus in Colorado means people can get sick with COVID-19 a second time. That’s according to CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida.

Colorado has had cases of both the B.1.1.7 variant which was first detected in Great Britain and the L452R variant first reported in Denmark.

READ MORE: 30 New COVID Variant Cases Detected In Colorado In January

“I have people who are ill and you say you want to do a COVID test on them and they say ‘Wait, I’ve already had COVID. I can’t be infected again,'” Hnida said in an interview on CBSN Denver. “And the answer to that is, it’s possible you could be.”

Hnida said several hundred people in the state have tested positive for COVID a second time, after being ill months ago and recovering, that includes getting the original COVID again.

“There is concern that we don’t know how long you are immune and how strong that immunity is,” he said.

“The mutated strains are kind of scary because we know you could have the ‘original’ COVID then be reinfected with an entirely new, different strain.”

He explained right now the U.K. strain is estimated to make up 3.6% of the cases in the nation, which may not seem like a lot.

READ MORE: Colorado Leaders Watching Newly-Discovered COVID Variant

“The problem is they’re multiplying so quickly that we expect them to become 50% responsible for all cases by the time we hit the second or third week of March,” Hnida said. “That’s very, very quick.”

Hnida said it is important to get vaccines into people as quickly as possible, and everyone still needs to take personal responsibility seriously.

“We need people to stay the course. We’re doing a great job here in Colorado,” he said. “We need to continue to follow guidelines. You really want to do your best to avoid COVID.”

“When you get COVID, you are a human petri dish. That’s how mutations wind up occurring. It needs to be in a person to mutate.”

“If we can slow the spread, continue going in the direction we’re going, as well as upping the vaccination numbers, I think we’re really headed in a good direction.”

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That means wear that mask and social distance.

Raetta Holdman