COLORADO –– A case of the new faster-spreading strain of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Colorado.  In a Tweet, Colorado Governor Jared Polis said, “Today we discovered Colorado’s first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7, the same variant discovered in the UK. The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely.”

Officials in the UK tightened lockdown restrictions after the mutation of the virus was discovered there. Scientists said the new strain is between 40 and 70% more contagious than the more common form of the virus. COVID-19 is considered to be 10 times more contagious than the flu.

A separate, new mutation of the virus has also been reported in South Africa.

The CDC said there is no evidence that the faster-spreading virus is more dangerous and that mutations in viruses are only to be expected. “Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants emerge and start infecting people. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic.”

Officials from the agency said scientists are currently investigating whether the new mutations of the virus are more dangerous and whether they will affect the effectiveness of vaccines. “There is no evidence that this is occurring, and most experts believe this is unlikely to occur because of the nature of the immune response to the virus.”