Cascade County runs into four new COVID-19 variants

GREAT FALLS, Mont. - Luckily, COVID-19 cases are still on a downward trend in Cascade County despite running into four new variants.

Because of these new variants, the Cascade County Health Department says we could expect case numbers to linger where they are now but they say it’s nothing to be too concerned about moving forward.

Along with the B.1.1.7, the county is seeing variants from New York, Brazil and a couple from California.

Right now, the B.1.1.7 variant makes up 68% of all variant cases statewide and so far, Cascade County has seen 37 of those cases.

Although multiple variants are showing up, Health Officer Trisha Gardner says the vaccine will still keep people protected.

"Most of them still appear that they're being well covered. However, it's still really important that everyone gets vaccinated because the more people we have vaccinated the less opportunity it is for new ones to show up," Gardner said.

Out of the 47 total variant cases in Cascade County, only 10 come from the four new variants.

For the past few weeks the county has been sitting between 80-60 active cases, but to make a huge decline, Gardner says younger adults will have to make a decision.

"Now if we start seeing and an uptick in vaccination, and particularly 20 to 40 something, that's where we're seeing our cases right now, is in that age group, we should start seeing those cases come down," she said.

Right now, 41% of Cascade County is fully immunized, but Gardner says their goal is to make sure at least 70% of the population is vaccinated.

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