Variants blamed for COVID-19 spike in northern Missouri

Missouri

A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

LINN COUNTY, Mo. (AP) — Two neighboring counties in rural northern Missouri are seeing big increases in COVID-19 cases, spikes blamed in part on new variants of the virus, and in part on the behavior of residents.

Health officials in Linn and Livingston counties are urging precautions to slow the spread of the virus, though they’re not certain residents will follow that guidance; both counties lag well behind the state and national averages in vaccinations.

Health officials in both counties blame variants of the virus first identified in the U.K. and India.

The World Health Organization has said both variants are concerning because they appear to spread easily.

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