SAINT GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – A COVID-19 variant originally found in India is now in Southern Nevada.
“The variants of concern would maybe be those that spread easier or cause worse symptoms, and even though India as a nation right now is having a horrible situation with their coronavirus spike, right here especially in southwestern Utah, our overall spread of coronavirus has plateaued at a low level,” says David Heaton, the spokesperson for Southwest Utah Public Health Department.
Heaton says the state is tracking five other variants of concern, and this one from India is not one yet.
“Two from California, one from the U.K., a South African one, and a Brazilian variant,” he says.
Heaton says despite an increase in visitors from out-of-state, the department isn’t seeing any of these variants or outbreaks in Southern Utah.
“I think the biggest source of spread we’ve seen is when people are indoors in informal groups, perhaps some family or smaller gathering of friends, where they are spending a lot of time together, and you have infected people in that crowd,” says Heaton.
He says while masks aren’t enforced in Southern Utah, it’s important to use your best judgement when out in public.
“Evaluating your own risk, or telling people that if you’ve been fully vaccinated, telling people you are probably very low risk,” says Heaton.
Heaton says the department, along with the state, is tracking these variants carefully, and if variants become a cause of concern, they will be listed on the state’s website.