Kings County Department of Public officials say COVID-19 variants reach Kings County

By The Leader Staff
Kings County Department of Public officials say COVID-19 variants reach Kings County

The Kings County Department of Public Health (KCDPH) learned Monday that the first case of the COVID-19 B.1.1.7 variant was detected in a Kings County resident. The individual in question is an adult and contracted COVID-19 while traveling outside of the country, and it has been isolated since symptoms first appeared.

KCDPH will continue its contact tracing efforts to determine close contacts of this case.

At the same time, the ability to get COVID-19 vaccinations seems to be improving locally. Currently, vaccine appointments are only available for Kings County residents 65 or people who work in healthcare, food, agriculture, education, and emergency services.

However, during his speech to the nation Thursday night, President Biden insisted that states will make all adults eligible for the vaccine by May 1.

If residents are not yet eligible, they can still register for vaccine eligibility and appointment updates through

The positive news is that according to state, national, and local health officials, there is no indication that the vaccines or antibody treatments are less effective on the new variant. However, local health officials indicate that this particular variant may be more severe.

The variant strain was first detected in the United Kingdom and has since spread to over 200 countries. Since December 31, 2020, 262 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant have been detected in California, said, local health officials. 

The recently discovered  COVID-19 variant has also been identified by the California Department of Health (CDPH) Lab in a different Kings County resident. As of March 4, 2021, 4,076 cases of the variant have been identified in California.

“As Kings County has now identified the first case of this more infectious variant of COVID-19, as well as a subsequent variant of a different strain, it is a reminder to remain vigilant as our case rates decline in Kings County. We must continue using safe practices by physical distancing, staying home when feeling sick, regularly testing, wearing a face mask, and avoiding indoor gatherings,” stated Edward Hill, Director, Kings County Department of Public Health.   

California’s health department requests that providers submit specimens for whole-genome sequencing from individuals with SARS-CoV-2 virus infection who meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • Recent international travel;
  • Exposure to persons with recent international travel;
  • Possible re-infection (i.e., recurrence of symptoms at least 90 days after initial infection);
  • Breakthrough infection after 14 days of a complete series of vaccination; or
  • During a prolonged outbreak in a congregate living facility

Visit for current information, guidance, and resources, including eligibility and availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

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