COVID-19 variant found in Kitsap County

KITSAP COUNTY, Wash. — A variant of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Kitsap County for the first time.

The B.1.1.7 strain that first emerged in the United Kingdom has been linked to a recent Kitsap County case, according to the Washington State Department of Health.

According to the Department of Health, the B.1.1.7 variant spreads more easily from person to person, and there have been some studies that conclude the variant is more likely to cause severe illness and death.

All available COVID-19 vaccines are shown to provide good protection against this strain, along with masking, social distancing and hand-washing.

“The emergence of COVID-19 variants increases the potential for more people in our community to become sick, be hospitalized, and potentially die from this pandemic,” Kitsap Public Health District Health Officer Dr. Gib Morrow said. “Fortunately, we have the tools we need to stop these mutated viruses from spreading. I’m asking all Kitsap residents to keep fighting the spread of COVID-19 and be ready to get vaccinated as soon as they are able.”

After declining in January and February, COVID-19 has been actively increasing in Kitsap County, with 48 deaths having occurred since the start of 2021.

Resources to help keep you and your family safe can be found on the Washington State Coronavirus Response site.