New COVID Strain Found In Kalamazoo | WMUK

New COVID Strain Found In Kalamazoo

Feb 4, 2021

File photo of an illustration of the coronavirus during a Kalamazoo County briefing in 2020
Credit John McNeill / WMUK

Health officials say there's now one confirmed case of the "B-1-1-7" variant of COVID-19 in Kalamazoo County.

The new strain of the coronavirus first found in the United Kingdom is easier to transmit. Although it may be more contagious, experts say the new variant does not seem to make people who get it any sicker, or more likely to die.

The Kalamazoo County Department of Health and Community Services says the case involves someone over the age of 80 who has no travel history.

Cases of the new strain have also been reported in the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas.

Bronson Healthcare Starts New COVID Vaccination Process

The health system based in Kalamazoo says it has begun the new system because of high demand. Bronson says people 65 and older as well as "public care workers" are eligible during Phase 1B of the state's COVID-19 vaccination program.

To sign up, people must use Bronson's My Chart system. The hospital says people will be scheduled based on age, health risks, and location. But if demand exceeds the supply of vaccine, it says a random selection process may be used.

Bronson says it has given nearly 21-thousand shots since vaccination began.