New Strand Of Covid-19 Detected. Testing To Begin Sunday.


Image Credit: Washtenaw County Health Department

Washtenaw County Health is increasing its vigilance in the wake of five new confirmed cases of a new variant of the Coronavirus called B117. B117 is believed to be more easily transmittable than the standard coronavirus, which has killed over 400,000 Americans in the year or so since it arrived.

“We don’t normally message things like a public location where your contact might have been very brief. But because we don’t know that the same parameters of those 15 minutes, and [being within] six feet, will work as well with this new variant. So as a precaution, we are sharing this information for folks who may have been in the same location … then it’s a good idea to go ahead and get tested,”

Washtenaw County Health Spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia told the Sun Times News in an interview by phone.

According to a press release from Washtenaw County Health, they are specifically asking anyone who was at the Meijier on Ann Arbor-Saline Road between 9 A.M. and 10 A.M., or Briarwood Mall, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., January 17. The identified victims have mild symptoms, according to Ringler-Cerniglia.

“We have been warning people for weeks that this variant would likely be identified in Michigan. We want everyone to understand that this variant is much more easily transmitted, and there is increased risk of rapid spread. Now is the time for people to take additional precautions and limit any potential exposures,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy of Health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, was quoted saying in the press release.

Washtenaw County is responding by setting up a new, free Covid-19 testing facility at Pioneer High School, in Ann Arbor. Pioneer is the high school across the intersection from the Big House.

It will be open from 12:00 noon to 5 P.M. to anyone who needs it. While it is not necessary to schedule an appointment before hand, you can register at

Briarwood Mall could not be reached for comment.

The Meijer on Ann Arbor-Saline Road could not be reached for comment.

This story is ongoing and will be updated when new information becomes available...

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