Covid-19 numbers have dropped across the board recently, which is great news. We should get an even more accurate look this Sunday, two weeks out from Super Bowl, an event public health officials were concerned about could trigger another spike.

While numbers are encouraging, concerns about variants of the virus still exist.

Sunday, the state’s Department of Public Health announced that there are 19 more cases of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant in Massachusetts, bringing the total number of cases in the commonwealth to 29.

That variant of the novel coronavirus began in the United Kingdom before spreading to the U.S. in December 2020 and Massachusetts on Jan. 17, 2021.

Cases have ranged in age from 4 years to-almost 70; they include 13 females and 16 males. There have been 17 cases in Worcester County, one in Hampden County, two in Middlesex County, six in Norfolk County, two in Plymouth County and one in Suffolk County, according to the Department of Public Health's statement.

DPH provided the following breakdown of new and total cases of the COVID-19 variant in the state, including the location and age group of the patients:

New cases

  • Middlesex County male less than 19-years-old
  • Middlesex County male in his 20s
  • Norfolk County male in his 50s
  • Norfolk County male in his 20s
  • Norfolk County female in her 50s
  • Worcester County female in her 40s
  • Worcester County male in his mid-teens
  • Worcester County female less than 19-years-old
  • Worcester County male in his 40s
  • Worcester County female in her 30s
  • Worcester County female in her 30s
  • Worcester County female in her 30s
  • Worcester County male in his 40s
  • Worcester County male less than 19-years-old
  • Worcester County male in his 60s
  • Worcester County male in his 30s
  • Worcester County female in her 50s
  • Worcester County male in his 50s
  • Worcester County female in her 20s

Luckily, at this moment, there are no confirmed cases of the new variant in Berkshire County.

Currently, there are two other COVID-19 variants, one that originated in South Africa and another that began in Brazil; however, neither has been confirmed in Massachusetts thus far.

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While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.