News Release

SBC Public Health identifies three cases of COVID-19 variants

Variants have also been found in neighboring counties and across the state.

Information courtesy of San Benito County Public Health Services.

San Benito County Public Health Services has identified two COVID-19 variants of concern within the county among three individuals.

According to a recent release, two cases have been identified as the South African variant (B.1.351) in specimens initially collected on March 1. These cases were reported to county public health nine days later and were not initially investigated due to protocol cutoff being at day six. Both cases are from the same household and follow-up case investigation/contact tracing has occurred.

The third case was identified as the United Kingdom variant (B.1.1.7) in a specimen collected on March 15. The follow-up case investigation/contact tracing has been completed and the case has followed all isolation protocols.

New COVID-19 variants have been recently found in neighboring counties, across California and much of the U.S. The release stated that some of these variants appear to be at least twice as easy to pass between persons and can cause more severe infection and possibly more deaths.

County Interim Health Officer Dr. David Ghilarducci said, “The arrival of these variants in the county and state were expected, as they are spreading across the nation and in other countries. Fortunately, all three approved vaccines are effective against these variants. But we are clearly in a race between getting the community vaccinated and the spread of more infectious and possibly more severe coronavirus variants. Everyone should get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible. As of April 15, all adults 16 years and older will be eligible for vaccination.”

More information here

For more information about COVID-19 vaccine and distribution process, visit

To register for the state’s MyTurn vaccine registration and notification system, visit Residents can also call 2-1-1 for resource information.

BenitoLink Staff