The COVID variant known as SARS-CoV-2 B. 1.1.7, or 'the U.K. strain' ( called this because it was first confirmed in the United Kingdom), is now confirmed to have appeared in Black Hawk County. While it had previously appeared in other Iowa counties, this is the first such confirmation for Black Hawk.

The information comes in a press release from the Black Hawk County Health Department, after they received confirmation from the Iowa Department of Public Health that a positive test was indeed the U.K. variant. While this may sound alarming, there is good news. This variant is known for spreading easier, but it's not any more fatal nor is it 'vaccine proof' according to the CDC. In fact, since it was first identified in January, tests have shown the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine remains effective against the variant.

Once again, the Black hawk County Health Department suggests continuing to take COVID-19 seriously and take the following steps to prevent further spread:

  • Wear a mask or face covering (still required in the county)
  • Practice social distancing with those outside your home/residents
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 or more seconds
  • Stay home if you feel unwell
  • Get tested if you are exposed to, or have symptoms of COVID-19
  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available to you - which we know vaccines will be available to all Iowans on Monday, April 5 as per Gov. Reynolds.

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