IPSWICH — Town Manager Anthony Marino and Director of Public Health Colleen Fermon wish to provide the community with information regarding COVID-19 variants.
As a virus mutates, variants of that virus will emerge. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the United States and across the world.
Scientists are currently gathering and analyzing data regarding how contagious these variants are and how severely ill they can make someone.
“The big takeaway we want our residents to have when it comes to variants is they can be prevented using the same public health guidance we’ve all been following for over a year now,” Director Fermon said. “Wear your mask, practice social distancing, stay home when you don’t feel well and if you’re eligible to get your vaccine, seek out an appointment.”
Currently, there are three variants of concern that have been identified in Massachusetts: B.1.1.7, which was first identified in the United Kingdom; B.1. 351, which was first identified in South Africa; and Variant P.1., which was first identified in Brazil. It is believed that these three variants are highly contagious and spread quickly.
According to the CDC, in Massachusetts there have been 712 identified cases of someone who contracted the B.1.1.7. variant, 12 people who contracted the B.1.351 variant and 58 people who contracted the P. 1 variant, as of April 1. For the latest data, click here.
Residents are advised that they should continue practicing COVID-19 prevention measures to protect themselves from these variants. This includes wearing a mask whenever in public, practicing social distancing by staying six feet away from those who do not live in your household, washing your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water, and staying home when feeling ill.
Residents are also reminded that getting the COVID-19 vaccine once you become eligible will help protect you, as well as your family, friends, coworkers, and community from COVID-19. According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 vaccines may not be as effective at preventing someone from contracting and falling ill from a variant of COVID-19, however they should still provide some protection.
The general public becomes eligible for vaccination on April 19. To find an appointment:
- Preregister at VaccineSignUp.mass.gov to be notified when it’s your turn to schedule an appointment at a mass vaccination site. The closest mass vaccination site is at the DoubleTree Hotel in Danvers.
- Use VaxFinder.mass.gov to search for appointments at pharmacies, health care providers, and other community locations
For the latest COVID-19 updates for the Town of Ipswich, visit ipswichcovid19.com.