Third COVID variant identified in county

Chillicothe News

Late last week, the Livingston County Health Center announced lab confirmation from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services of the Iota (New York) variant of COVID-19 circulating in Livingston County.

According to the press release, "B.1.526.1-Iota is labeled a variant of interest by the CDC, and was first identified in New York in November 2020.

The Iota variant has shown to be less contagious than the Delta and Alpha variants also circulating in the county, but still more so than the original wild virus."

All three types of COVID vaccine being used in the United States have proven effective against the variants circulating in the nation, by lessening symptoms of COVID-19 and reducing hospitalization and death.

Residents can get vaccinated on a walk-in basis at the health center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1- 4 p.m. There is no out-of-pocket cost.

Rapid antigen testing is also done at the health center Monday through Friday from 9  - 11 a.m.  Those who would like to be tested should call 646-5506.

In the press release, Sherry Weldon, administrator of the health center said she encourages all residents, regardless of vaccination status, to be vigilant about prevention measures like wearing a mask in public, washing hands frequently, staying home if you do not feel well and getting tested sooner rather than later, so close contacts can be notified.