New COVID-19 variant cases found in Colorado, bringing statewide total to 5

DENVER (KDVR) — A private lab detected the most recent case of a COVID-19 variant in Colorado, bringing the statewide total to five, the state’s health department announced Wednesday evening.

A Boulder County resident in their 20s is the most recent case, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). This adds two new B.1.1.7 variant cases since last Thursday.

The cases have been verified by the state lab.

“Our state lab was the first in the country to identify a B.1.1.7 variant case through sophisticated analysis of testing samples,” said Scott Bookman, CDPHE's incident commander for COVID-19 response.

The first B.1.1.7 variants were discovered in the United Kingdom. On Dec. 29, the first case in the United States was found in Simla, Colorado.

Starting Thursday, the state's COVID-19 data dashboard will include the most recent variant case totals. It will be updated daily at about 4 p.m.

“Scientists believe this variant is far more contagious, so I’m pleased we are adding this information to our website to help keep Coloradans informed of disease transmission trends in our state," said Bookman.

The state said its lab is screening all samples for the “S drop out profile,” which is associated with B.1.1.7.