Skip to Content

Multnomah County resident first in Oregon with UK variant of COVID-19 virus

COVID-19 variant MGN

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Health Authority said it learned Friday that a Multnomah County resident has tested positive with the variant COVID-19 virus strain originally detected in the United Kingdom, the first such case in Oregon.

This is the first identification in Oregon of the United Kingdom variant strain, also called strain B.1.1.7 or SARS-CoV-2 VOC 202012/01. The individual has no known travel history, OHA said. Health officials are still investigating the possible sources of infection. The strain has been detected in several states, including California.

“The detection of the first case of this variant strain is a concern, and we have been monitoring movement of this strain,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., health officer and state epidemiologist at OHA. “As we learn more about this case and the individual who tested positive for this strain, OHA continues to promote effective public health measures, including wearing masks, maintaining six feet of physical distance, staying home, washing your hands, and avoiding gatherings and travel.”

Information about the characteristics of COVID-19 variants is rapidly emerging, for the U.K. strain and another variant first found in South Africa.

Viruses constantly mutate, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic. Most variants do not change how the virus behaves, and many disappear. 

Scientists are working to learn more about how easily they might spread, and currently there is no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness or increased risk of death, or affect vaccine effectiveness, according to the Centers for the Disease Control and Prevention.

Multnomah County public health staff will be working through the weekend to go back over details with this individual related to their isolation plan, contacts and any possible exposures.

“Confirming this strain locally is distressing,” said Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. “Until we have enough vaccine, we must continue using face masks, distancing and limiting our social interactions.”

The CDC provides case data information in the United States.

Oregonians can continue to work together to prevent more lives being lost to the virus by doing the following:

  • Maintain six feet of physical distance;
  • Wear a face covering when outside the house;
  • Practice good hand hygiene;
  • Avoid any gatherings with people you don’t live with;
  • If you start to have symptoms — even mild ones — consult with a medical provider quickly to get instructions on how to care for yourself and your household members and also whether to get tested;
  • And finally, if you get a call from public health, answer it, and take their advice on how to protect yourself and those around you.
News / Oregon-Northwest / Top Stories

KTVZ news sources



    1. This is more than just an attempt to re-energize interest in the US flailing response that originated out on the west coast by colluding Demokrat Governors- this is a blatant attempt to remove the “China” portion of the virus and now accuse the UK of creating a super bug ! If I’m a UK citizen right now- I’d put a stop to this. Joe Biden will promote this UK horse dung in an attempt to steer responsibility away from his Chinese handlers ! make no mistake- this has been in the works for more than a month and has been discussed since late summer. Should China Joe pull off the steal- then there’s an agreement to move the virus away from China and start blaming Europe- payback for the fall of the EU ! Ya’ll still don’t think them Bilderberg gatherings have no effect on global strategies ??? Think again !

  1. How do they distinguish a positive test for the variant from a positive test for the earlier strain? He had no known travel history so, the new strain is already here. One epidemiologist has said “This virus is potentially on a pathway for vaccine escape, it has taken the first couple of steps towards that.” How long will the vaccine be effective?

    I think I’d like to wait for the second generation vaccine.

  2. There’s no way anyone or anything will stop a virus. They’ve been on earth billions of years before the first dinasuars and they’ll be here long after the human race is gone. Viruses are the best form of life because they can mutate and evolve at warp speed.It won’t be climate change or a nuclear wars that ends us, it’ll be a bug. Remember what killed off the Martians in ” War of the worlds “. It may have been fiction but sometimes fiction is more like the truth than we care to believe.

      1. Smallpox is just one of billions of viruses. My point is, we can’t beat them all. Just live life and don’t live in fear. We all die eventually of something.

        1. Guess you need to delete that first sentence, then. And so far, modern medicine has been able to defeat the life threatening ones and use the good ones to our benefit. Yes, we will all eventually die someday but it doesn’t always have to be today or tomorrow on a ventilator suffocating to death because a virus has evaded our lungs.

          1. Yes and you might contract something far worse or be killed walking across the street. Give it some thought. Viruses will always find a way to overcome vaccines. But we can’t avoid death. Live for today and try not to live it in fear of what may be. I’m not advocating against anyone getting the vaccine, I’m just saying that eventually viruses are going to win through evolution. May or may not be in our lifetime.

          1. I don’t understand what you mean by back pedalling.I also don’t understand your comments on what I’m saying. In the end viruses are going to end the human race. Smallpox didn’t exist in the time of hourly international travel so it didn’t have the means to spread before a vaccine could take effect.

        1. Probably not but I was just using it as an example. Back when smallpox was around we didn’t have ways to cover the planet in a matter on hours, so it was far easier to eradicate.

Leave a Reply

Skip to content