By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — A Barnstable County woman in her 30s has the first identified case of the Brazil COVID-19 variant in the state, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced Tuesday. The P.1. variant originated in Brazil.

The woman tested positive for COVID-19 in late February. It is unclear whether she recently traveled and her current condition is not known.

As of Tuesday, DPH said there have been 213 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, known as the United Kingdom variant, in the state. There have been six cases of the B.1.351 variant, which is from South Africa.

Health officials believe the U.K. variant spreads more easily than other variants. The best defense is to continue mask-wearing and social distancing. Staff