DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado health officials have identified two more cases of variant COVID-19 B.1.1.7 in the state. There are now three known variant cases in Colorado, as well as one possible case whose genome sequencing results are pending.

(Credit: CBS)

Colorado was the first state in the country to identify the COVID-19 variant, previously discovered in the United Kingdom. Scientists believe the COVID-19 variant is more contagious but doesn’t have any more serious symptoms.

On December 29, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced the state’s first known case for the variant, a member of the National Guard serving with the Good Samaritan Society in Elbert County. A second member of the National Guard at the same facility was recently confirmed to have the variant.

(Credit: CBS)

The third confirmed case and a possible case were identified on Thursday in staff at the state Veterans Community Living Center in Fitzsimons, Aurora. According to CDPHE, the facility is conducting routine testing and has not identified any other cases.

Health officials said the current COVID-19 vaccines should be effective against the variant.

CDPHE is currently reviewing a number of tests from government laboratories to identify possible variant cases. Epidemiologists say people can protect themselves from COVID-19 and its strains by washing hands, wearing a mask in public, social distancing and avoiding gatherings.