The Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that the first case of the P.1 COVID-19 variant of concern, which originated in Brazil, has been detected here in Massachusetts. The individual infected with the variant is a woman in her 30s residing in Barnstable County, about three-hours East of the Berkshires.

According to the press release, the Department of Public Health was notified of her test results from genetic sequencing conducted through the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national surveillance system. There is no information available on the woman’s illness or whether she has recently traveled. She originally tested positive for COVID-19 in late February.

There have, to this point, been 213 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, originally found in the United Kingdom, and 6 cases of the B.1.351, which originated in South Africa, reported in Massachusetts. The B.1.1.7 variant is known to spread more easily and has caused a rapid surge of cases in the UK, several other countries, and parts of the United States.

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Health officials say that the best defense against variants of concern is to prevent the spread of COVID, this includes wearing a mask, social distancing, avoiding groups, staying home when you are sick, getting tested if you have symptoms or are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID, and getting vaccinated when it is your turn.

You can learn more learn about variants of concern at New Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19 and track their presence in both Massachusetts and the US at US COVID-19 Cases Caused by Variants.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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