Health officials are investigating a COVID-19 outbreak caused by a large family gathering in North Branford, according the East Shore District Health Department. The outbreak involved multiple people who have the COVID-19 variant strain B.1.1.7, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom, according to officials.
A spokesperson for the state Department of Public Health said on Monday the department is aware of the cases. After working with local health officials, DPH determined that none of the North Branford cases have known travel histories, which means the variant is "circulating in the community," according to a DPH spokesperson.
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At a news conference on Monday, Gov. Ned Lamont said eight more people were diagnosed with the variant over the weekend, bringing the state's total number of cases of the B.1.1.7 strain to 16. It is not clear if those numbers include the cases tied to North Branford.
The outbreak of COVID-19 is also connected to the North Branford High School hockey team needing to quarantine, officials said.
Both the Connecticut Department of Public Health and the East Shore District Health Department are investigating.
“While positive cases of COVID-19 have been decreasing since the large increase after the holidays, we need to remind our residents to stay vigilant, especially in light of the COVID-19 variant that is now present in Connecticut.” said Michael Pascucilla, Director of Public Health for the East Shore District Health Department, in a statement.