Five cases of the COVID-19 variant that was first discovered in India have been identified in Mesa County.

COVID-19 Variant Identified In Mesa County

According to Mesa County Public Health, the variant of interest referred to as B.1.617.2 was first identified in India in December 2020. The Mesa County cases are the first to be identified in Colorado. The five individuals are all females from different households and range in age from 30 to 65.

In making the announcement on Thursday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said none of the people in Mesa County who tested positive for the variant had recently traveled. According to 9 News, health officials are investigating how the variant reached Colorado.

The variant appears to be more transmissible than other strains, but the CDPHE says vaccines are still effective against it. So far about 2 million Coloradans have been fully vaccinated. In Mesa County, 36% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

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Mesa County Residents Encouraged to Be Vaccinated

Meanwhile, MCPH continues to encourage Mesa County residents to get the COVID-19  vaccine to slow the spread of illness in the community. The currently approved vaccines are believed o be effective in providing immunity against variants that are emerging.

Immediate scheduling is available in Mesa County for those wanting to receive the vaccine. Beginning May 19, the mass vaccination site at Grand Junction Convention Center will be moving to the Mesa County Public Health Building and the mobile vaccination clinic will be in the county for another week. Getting vaccinated remains a free and easy process.

Keep Fighting

Jeff Kuhr, Executive Director of Mesa County Public Health says it's been a long 14 months of battling COVID-19, but is asking the community to stay committed to proven prevention methods for the overall and economic health of the community. The message remains the same. Consider getting the vaccine, wash hands frequently, use face coverings in public indoor settings where social distancing is not possible, and stay home when you are sick.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.