WILCOE, W.Va. – Laboratory results have revealed 11 known cases of the highly infectious U.K. variant (B.1.117) in McDowell County.

The B.1.117 variant, dubbed the U.K. variant because it is believed to have originated in the United Kingdom, is more contagious than the type of COVID that has been circulating.

“With the number of cases increasing in our county, we need to continue using all our tools to prevent another surge: Get vaccinated, wear masks in public, continue to social distance, and wash your hands frequently,” said Health Dept. officials.

Initial studies suggest the three COVID vaccines provide strong protection against the U.K. variant and others.

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