Maryland resident dies after contracting Brazil COVID-19 variant: health officials

Maryland health officials have confirmed a case of COVID-19 in a resident that was caused by the new P.1 variant, which is commonly known as the Brazil variant of the coronavirus. Governor Larry Hogan made the announcement on Wednesday. 

According to state health officials, today’s case involves a resident above the age of 65 from the National Capital Region who passed away following international travel. 

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"State public health officials are closely monitoring the P.1 variant, and we mourn the loss of this Marylander to COVID-19," said Gov. Hogan. "As we continue to test for these variants, we strongly encourage Marylanders to continue taking precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including mask-wearing, regular hand washing, and physical distancing."

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The Brazil variant was first identified in the United States at the end of January, according to health officials. 

"Comprehensive contact tracing efforts are underway to ensure that potential contacts are quickly identified, quarantined, and tested," officials said Wednesday.