By Kyle Erway
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland health officials have confirmed a case of COVID-19 caused by the new P.1 variant commonly referred to as the Brazil variant.
Hogan said that scientists are working feverishly to learn as much about the new strain as possible in the shortest amount of time, including how effective current vaccines are in treating it. The P.1 variant is believed to be more transferrable than the original strain, he said, explaining that researchers are investigating whether the new variant causes a more severe disease than the original strain.
“As we continue to test for these variants, we strongly encourage Marylanders to continue taking precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including mask wearing, regular hand washing, and physical distancing,” Hogan said.
The case announced Wednesday involves a 65-year-old adult from the National Capitol Region, whose identity remains undisclosed, Hogan said. The adult recently died following international travel.
Although this case specifically involved someone with a history of travel, many of the other cases of concern involving variants have not been connected to travel, according to the CDC, which outlines and reinforces the continued need for public health precautions.
The COVID-19 vaccine update from the governor’s office on Thursday said Maryland providers have administered a seven-day average of 26,470 vaccinations for a grand total of 970,476. The report also specified that 99% of all doses of the vaccine have been delivered to providers with a reported 84.3% of first doses administered to people from the federal government.