A case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.7 has been detected in Maine. This is the first case in Maine of this variant, which was initially discovered in the U.K. and has now been detected in 34 other states.

The individual is a resident of Franklin County with a history of recent international travel. The individual and other household members who tested positive for COVID-19 are isolating. Maine CDC’s case investigation is ongoing, and close contacts are being identified and will be required to quarantine.

“We recognize the concern this case may cause, given that the B.1.1.7 variant appears to spread more easily,” said Dr. Nirav D. Shah, Director of the Maine CDC. “Given the number of cases already detected in other states, we expected the variant to arrive in Maine and have been on the lookout for it. It is more important than ever that Maine people remain vigilant in taking the steps that prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Wear tight-fitting masks when out in public

Double masking is best

Stay at least 6 feet away from others

Avoid gatherings

Stay home when sick

Wash hands frequently

Get tested if symptoms of COVID-19 are present or if identified as a close contact

Get vaccinated as soon as possible