Story updated: Although the woman is from Boston, she was only here for a couple of hours before flying out.
A Boston woman who flew back to Boston from the United Kingdom on Jan. 3, then flew to another state, is the first Massachusetts resident to be diagnosed with the new strain of Covid-19 that spreads even more quickly than the ones we already had, state and city officials announced tonight.
The Boston Public Health Commission reports the woman in her 20s tested negative in the UK, flew to Logan to switch planes, spent a couple hours on a layover, then flew out again.
The state Department of Public Health reports it was notified last night of her test results from the state she's now in:
The individual was interviewed by contact tracers at the time the initial positive result was received, and close contacts were identified. She is being re-interviewed by public health officials now that the variant has been identified as the cause of illness.
To date, the variant has proven no more likely than older strains to sicken or kill people who catch it; the issue is that it spreads more rapidly than other strains. DPH says:
Given the increased transmissibility of this variant and the number of states and other countries that have found infected cases, the Department expected the variant to arrive in Massachusetts eventually. The public health risk reduction measures remain the same. Individuals must continue to wear masks or face coverings while out in public, maintain 6-foot social distancing, stay home when you are sick, and get tested if you have symptoms or are identified as a close contact.