Two COVID variant cases ID’d in county, vaccination continues

Casey S. Elliott
Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A second coronavirus “variant of concern” was reported in Beaverhead County over the past couple of weeks.

The variant is one of the California mutations. Variants of concern tend to be more easily transmitted or may cause more severe disease.

Different viral mutations for the coronavirus have been detected in 17 counties in Montana. The variants include two California versions, two New York versions, and the United Kingdom version. The majority of the variants appear to be the UK version (27 cases out of 63 total). The second most common variants are the two California versions.

The county is steadily increasing its vaccinated population. As of Tuesday, Beaverhead County has administered 5,767 total doses, with 2,607 people fully vaccinated. Statewide, 597,082 total doses have been administered, and 250,643 people have been fully vaccinated.

The county added four new cases to its total over the past week. As of Tuesday, there were five active and 898 total cases counted in Beaverhead. Montana added 1,093 new cases and 49 deaths over the past week (though many of those new deaths are due to reconciling death records). As of Tuesday, the state tallied 106,426 total cases and 1,526 deaths.

Over 31 million coronavirus cases and more than 559,700 deaths have been recorded nationwide since the start of the pandemic, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.