Maryland health officials have confirmed a case of COVID-19 caused by the new P.1 Variant.
The Maryland Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control determined that an adult older than 65 from the national capital region recently died after traveling internationally, and had what’s commonly called the Brazil variant. Contact tracing efforts are also underway to identify other potential contacts and get them quarantined and tested.
The P.1 Variant is believed to be more transmissible than the initial strain that causes COVID-19 but its severity and the effectiveness of current vaccines against it are still being investigated. The UK and South African variants have also turned up in Maryland.
“State public health officials are closely monitoring the P.1 variant, and we mourn the loss of this Marylander to COVID-19,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “As we continue to test for these variants, we strongly encourage Marylanders to continue taking precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including mask wearing, regular hand washing, and physical distancing.”