By Anica Padilla

(CBS4) — Two cases of the COVID-19 P.1 variant have been detected in Colorado, the Centers for Disease Control announced Tuesday. This is the first detection of P.1 in the state. Both cases are residents of Boulder County.

(Credit:NIAID-RML)

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is investigating possible exposures and performing contact tracing to determine if the variant virus has spread to others.

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Public health officials originally identified the P.1 variant among travelers from Brazil arriving in Japan. To date, 289 cases of the P.1 variant have been identified in the U.S.

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“Coloradans should continue to wear masks, practice physical distancing, wash their hands frequently, and get vaccinated when it is their turn. These are our best tools for preventing the spread of this virus, no matter the strain,” CDC officials stated.

“Early research suggests that the currently authorized vaccines are effective against known variants, though perhaps to varying degrees depending on the strain. Experts stress that getting vaccinated can provide significant protection against transmission and severe illness from COVID-19,” officials stated.

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Last month, three cases of the B.1.351 variant, known as the South African variant, were detected at the Colorado Department of Corrections Buena Vista Correctional Complex. Two of the cases were staff members and one was incarcerated.

Anica Padilla