Three cases of a variant of COVID-19 first identified in the United Kingdom were detected in Gallatin County. Montana health officials said the cases confirmed Wednesday are the first of the more contagious variant in the state. The U.K. variant was identified in the fall and first detected in the U.S. in December. Over 2,500 cases of the variant have been confirmed in the U.S. According to the department of public health the cases are not related to one another and none are linked to recent travel. Over 40 states have reported cases of the variant.

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