95.3 / 88.5 FM Grand Rapids and 95.3 FM Muskegon
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

More coronavirus variants found in Northern Michigan counties

Novel coronavirus graphic


More coronavirus variants are being found in Northern Michigan, according to state and local health departments.

Michigan already had the country’s second-highest tally of cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the United Kingdom.

The state also has cases of variants that were first identified in Brazil and South Africa.

Now, even newer variants first observed in California -- B.1.427 and B.1.429 -- are here, too.

District Health Department No. 4, which covers four counties in the northeastern Lower Peninsula, said it’s found cases of the California variants.

The federal Centers for Disease Control calls these "variants of concern." All of them are likely more infectious than the original strain of the virus, but they are also all susceptible to vaccines, the CDC says.

District Health Department No. 4 said in a statement that the variants make masks, distancing and vaccines even more important, and, like many health departments in the state, its vaccines are now available at walk-in clinics without appointments.