“Although we have not detected … the variant in the clinical sample, we suspect it is circulating in Idaho,” said Dr. Christopher Ball, bureau chief for the Idaho Laboratory Bureau, in a news release.
Only 239 samples from the more than 136,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Idaho have been sequenced so far to check for mutations, according to a news release.
“The Idaho Laboratory Bureau is on track to sequencing SARS-CoV-2 samples internally by the end of the month, both of which will speed up time to generate and expand sample sizes in our strain sequencing program. In the interim, we continue to work with clinical laboratories across the state to accept samples for sequencing. “
Evidence B.1.1.7 “British variant” underscores the need for COVID-19 safety
Finding a variant in wastewater illustrates how Idaho’s battle with the coronavirus is far from over, and safety measures such as wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining physical distancing remain essential, according to the release.
“I am grateful we have a wastewater testing program, and it can tell us that this variant is in Boise so that we are reminded, once again, that we are not out of the woods yet,” said Mayor of Boise Lauren McLean in a news release. “We will get through this, and our community will recover, if we remain vigilant about keeping our distance, wearing masks and following other health protocols.”