The Pasadena Public Health Department has received the first confirmed report of a Pasadena resident infected with COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7., known as the U.K. variant.
This mutation was first identified in the United Kingdom, spreads more easily and quickly (about 50% increased transmission) than other variants, and likely causes more severe disease based on hospitalizations and case fatality rates, city officials said.
The person infected in Pasadena is an adult, and the variant was identified through California Department of Public Health genomic surveillance testing of laboratory specimens, according to a statement by the city.
Officials said that no further information will be released about the infected person to protect their privacy.
To date, PPHD has linked 10 other laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases among Pasadena residents with whom the U.K. variant-infected individual came in contact. While they have tested positive for COVID-19, it is not yet known if those people those 10 also contracted the UK variant — but “probable,” an official said.
In California, 265 cases of the B 1.1.7 variant have been reported.
Residents who qualify for a vaccine can get on the city’s vaccine waitlist by filling out an online form on the city’s website or calling the Citizen Service Center at (626) 744-7311. The city has a list of other potential sources you can get a vaccine on its website.
“These cases illustrate why it is so important to limit non-essential travel and mixing households as much as possible during a pandemic. This is also a stark reminder that we cannot let our guard down. We are so thankful that so many Pasadena residents who are currently eligible are receiving the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, and that we are now in the red tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, but we are not out of the woods yet,” said Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, health officer and director of Pasadena Public Health Department.
“If you must travel, it is important to watch for symptoms of COVID-19, follow public health guidance on getting tested prior to travel, use careful protective measures during travel, and get tested after travel. If you’re traveling out-of-state, Pasadena residents are required to self-quarantine for 10 days after arrival in accordance with local and state travel advisories.”