News & Politics

The Scary New Covid Variant Has Made It to Maryland

The mutation is apparently much more easily spread.

Image via iStock.

In yet another sign that 2021 is not yet shaping up to be such a clean break from 2020, the  much more transmissible variant of Covid-19 that first showed up in Great Britain late last year has now made it to Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan announced today.

According to Hogan’s office, the two cases involve people in the same household.  One of the two had traveled internationally. Neither have required hospitalization. Hogan’s office issued a press release saying the two were in the “Baltimore area.” A report from Washington’s ABC7 placed them in Anne Arundel County.

The state has launched “extensive contact tracing” for the two and says there’s been no evidence of additional spread. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 72 cases of the variant, known as B-117, have been identified nationally.

In a series of tweets after announcing the news, Hogan sought to emphasize that there’s no evidence that the new strain is more deadly—only that it appears more easily spread.

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Editor

Michael Schaffer has been editor of Washingtonian since 2014. A former editor of Washington City Paper and editorial director of The New Republic, Michael is also the author of One Nation Under Dog, a 2009 book about America’s obsession with pets. A DC native, he currently lives in Chevy Chase DC with his wife and their two daughters.