COVID variant is detected in Park County

Sam Klomhaus — Enterprise Staff Writer
Monday, March 29, 2021

A COVID-19 variant that originated in the United Kingdom has been detected in Park County, according to the Health Department.

It’s not clear when the variant appeared or who contracted it, Park County Health Officer Dr. Laurel Desnick said Monday.

The state of Montana tests for COVID-19 variants on a random assortment of samples that have already tested positive for COVID-19, Desnick said. One from Park County just happened to be picked, and the variant was detected. 

Both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines protect against the variant, Desnick said.

Desnick said the appearance of the variant is even more reason for people to get a vaccine appointment when one becomes available.

As long as a significant portion of the population remains unvaccinated, COVID-19 will keep being spread and will keep mutating, Desnick said.

All Park County residents age 18 and up will be eligible for vaccine appointments starting Friday, Desnick said.

It’s too early for people to let their guard down with COVID, Desnick said, with cases in Park County taking a jump last week.

However, Desnick said, the good news is vaccine supply in the county seems to be increasing, and Park County will be in good shape if 500-600 doses can be given out each week for the next eight weeks.

“It’s definitely not the time to give up,” Desnick said.