Rapidly spreading U.K. variant reported in Boone County

The Columbia/Boone County Health Department reports its first positive case of the COVID-19 U.K. variant. 

The health department says studies suggest that the current vaccines that are available are effective against this variant, although more studies are needed.  The health department also reports that current evidence indicates the U.K. variant spreads much more quickly which can lead to a rapid increase of hospitalizations and deaths.  Because of this, they’re urging residents to continue with mitigation protocols such as social distancing and wearing masks.

The first case of the variant was reported in February in northwest Missouri.  On Tuesday, the state reported its first case of the variant from South Africa in Jackson County.