ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that the UK variant of COVID-19, B.1.1.7, has been found in Arkansas, according to the COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday, March 2.
“This is not something that we did not expect and I’m surprised we haven’t found it earlier,” Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. José Romero said.
Dr. Romero said this reinforces the need for mask use and the need to immunize.
Nearly every state in the United States has reported cases of B.1.1.7, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
When asked if the person with the positive variant had traveled to Arkansas from another state, Dr. Romero declined to answer citing HIPAA — Health Insurance Portability and Accountability — violation.
The CDC and Dr. Romero report the vaccine that is available is effective against the variant.