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COVID-19

Nineteen Cases Of COVID-19 Variants Confirmed In Montana

Transmission electron micrograph of particles of SARS-CoV-2 — the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Transmission electron micrograph of particles of SARS-CoV-2 — the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Montana’s state health department Wednesday announced 19 cases of variant strains of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been identified in the state.

The department says it was notified by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of 11 cases that match two California variant strains and a New York variant strain.

The 11 cases are from Beaverhead, Cascade, Glacier, Hill, Jefferson, Madison, Phillips, Roosevelt, Silver Bow, and Valley counties.

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services says these 11 cases involve specimens that were submitted for testing as far back as January, before the CDC had classified the variants from California and New York.

Another eight cases of a variant from the United Kingdom have been confirmed in Gallatin County.

Cases stemming from variant strains have been detected in every state. Some of the variant strains spread more easily and lead to more severe illness.

Adam Meier, nominee to lead the state health department, said it’s important to limit the spread of COVID-19 and encouraged Montanans to get vaccinated and continue following CDC guidance about staying home when you’re sick, wearing a mask and social distancing.

Gov. Greg Gianforte Tuesday announced all Montanans age 16 and up will be eligible to get the vaccine starting April 1.