The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has confirmed two more cases of the more contagious U.K. variant of COVID-19 in SWLA. The two new cases bring the total number of cases to three in SWLA. Louisiana has five total confirmed cases of the U.K. variant with the other two being in the New Orleans area.

The U.K. variant, SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7, made its way over to the United States a few months ago. The CDC is reporting there have been 76 cases in 12 states since being introduced to our country.

So far, health officials believe the current COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the new variant, but more testing is needed.

In addition to wearing a mask and social distancing, washing and sanitizing your hands is an effective way to protect you and others around you. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

It’s especially important to wash:

  • Before eating or preparing food
  • Before touching your face
  • After using the restroom
  • After leaving a public place
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After handling your mask
  • After changing a diaper
  • After caring for someone sick
  • After touching animals or pets
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
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