Feds challenge recent indictments in Montrose drug-trafficking and cash laundering case | Information

Seven other people were charged with offenses related to a methamphetamine and heroin trafficking case in Montrose County that had previously been charged with 13 people.

Of the seven new defendants identified by US prosecutors in a press release on Saturday, four are from Montrose: Rafael Jaramillo-Hernandez, Margarita Cruz-Gomez, Carlos Quijana-Ruiz and Carlos Beltran-Gonzalez.

Jaramillo-Hernandez and Quijano-Ruiz were charged with drug conspiracy. The US prosecutor said they had teamed up with Daniel Gastelo-Ochoa of Denver and Catyria Lopez-Gomez of Fort Collins, as well as the 13 previously accused, to distribute meth and heroin in 2019. If convicted, they face at least 10 years in prison.

Quijano-Ruiz, Jaramillo-Hernandez, Lopez-Gomez, Cruz-Gomez, Dalilah Suarez-Lopez of Denver and Beltran-Gonzalez are charged with money laundering and illegal drug distribution, “USAO said when announcing the charges on Saturday. These transactions should hide the type, location, source, and ownership of proceeds, the government said.

If convicted, these defendants face up to 20 years in prison.

The charges came under a longstanding investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office, the Montrose Police Department, the 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force and the 7th Judicial District Prosecutor’s Office.

The prosecution, led by U.S. Assistant Attorney Zachary Phillips, is part of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Task Force into Organized Crime. The OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles high-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations.

Charges were filed against Ofelia Lopez in January 2020; Romeo Lujan; Omar Briceno-Quijano; Luis Alberto Ibarra-Tade; Jonte LeFlore; Dustin Debarris; Steven Keith Jones; Frank Arroyo; Amanda Sumpter; Nicole Wickman; Angelina Maestas, Naomi Vaughn and Joseph Davis.

Maestas, Vaughn and Davis were sentenced to prison terms for their roles in the program. Other cases are ongoing and these defendants along with the newly accused are considered innocent.

Duke basketball season over after optimistic Covid case

A Duke Blue Devils basketball with the logo before their game against the Georgia State Panthers at Cameron Indoor Stadium on November 15, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina.

Jacob Kupferman | Getty Images

The Duke men’s basketball season is over after a positive coronavirus case in the program, the team shared Explanation Thursday.

The team is pulling out of the ACC tournament after “a member of our program tested positive after Wednesday’s ACC tournament game in Greensboro,” said Kevin White, Duke’s director of athletics. “As a result, our 2020-21 season ends.”

The end of the season marks the end of the 24 year streak of the Blue Devils NCAA tournament.

Duke was slated to face Florida State in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament on Thursday night after beating Boston College on Tuesday and Louisville on Wednesday.

Jeff Goodman from the stadium reported The positive test of the program came from a walk-in player.

The positive test comes after The Duke Chronicle reported Between March 5 and March 9, 102 students tested positive for the coronavirus.

The majority of students who tested positive “either have a known Greek affiliation and / or are male freshmen in the class of 2024” related to personal fraternity activities, the Duke’s administrators wrote in an E on Wednesday -Mail to the students.

The Blue Devils finished the season 13-11 overall, finishing tenth in the ACC conference with a 9-9 record.

CDC examine finds nursing dwelling residents had been reinfected with worse case of Covid

A general overview of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta.

Tami Chappell | Reuters

A new CDC study found that some elderly people who appeared to have recovered from the coronavirus later had a second, even worse case – suggesting that asymptomatic or mild cases may not offer much protection against re-infection with Covid- 19 offer.

The study was published Thursday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Weekly report on morbidity and mortalityexamined two separate outbreaks that occurred three months apart in a qualified care facility in Kentucky. According to the study, 20 residents and five health care workers tested positive for the virus between mid-July and mid-August.

The second outbreak, between late October and early December, was worse: 85 residents and 43 healthcare workers tested positive for the virus. Among residents who tested positive during the first outbreak and were still living at the facility, five tested positive a second time more than 90 days after their first positive test.

Although Covid-19 reinfections do occur, they are generally rare.

Through frequent monitoring after the initial outbreak, all five residents had at least four negative tests between outbreaks, suggesting that they may have been re-infected with the virus later. Reinfection means that a person who had Covid-19 has recovered and then got it again CDC.

“The history of exposure, including when the roommate infections occurred and symptoms recurred during the second outbreak, suggests that the second positive RT-PCR results represented new infections after the patients appeared to clear the first infection,” wrote Alyson Cavanaugh , one of the researchers who led the study.

While only two of the five residents showed mild symptoms during the first outbreak, all five potentially reinfected residents showed signs of illness the second time. The two residents who reported symptoms during the first outbreak “experienced more severe symptoms during the second infectious episode, according to the study.” One resident was hospitalized and subsequently died.

According to the study’s researchers, this was “noteworthy” as it suggests the possibility that people who show mild to no symptoms when they first become infected are “not creating a sufficiently robust immune response to prevent re-infection”. The results “suggest the possibility that the disease may be more severe during a second infection.”

“The results of this study underscore the importance of maintaining public health mitigation and protection strategies that reduce the risk of transmission, even in those with a history of COVID-19 infection,” wrote Cavanaugh.

Some limitations were noted in the study. Because the samples were not stored, the researchers were unable to perform genome sequencing, a laboratory technique that breaks down the virus’ genetic code to confirm re-infection. “There are no additional test results to prove the initial test result is really positive,” they said during the initial outbreak.

It is believed that the risk of re-infection for the general population is still low, but nursing home residents may be particularly at risk due to their coexistence and high number of exposures, according to the study.

“Qualified care facilities should employ strategies to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in all residents, including those previously diagnosed with COVID-19,” Cavanaugh wrote.

Darkish cash group admits racketeering in bribery case | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

COLUMBUS – A dark money political group that was used in a $ 60 million bribery program to help Ohio pass nuclear weapons saving laws, authorities pleaded guilty on Friday.

Generation Now Inc. has also agreed to forfeit $ 1.5 million from two bank accounts in federal court in Cincinnati.

Jeffrey Longstreth, a co-defendant in the case who had previously pleaded guilty to his involvement in the program, represented Generation Now during the hearing on Friday.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black has postponed an investigation and sentencing before the verdict pending the settlement of all defendants.

According to federal investigators, former Ohio House spokesman Larry Householder, Longstreth, and three others used the nonprofit Generation Now as a $ 60 million lead funded by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. secretly provided. The money was reportedly used to secure householder power, elect allied lawmakers, and legislate approving the rescue of two $ 1 billion nuclear power plants operated by a FirstEnergy subsidiary.

The five men were charged with extortion in July. The head of household pleaded not guilty and is waiting for the trial. He has been stripped of his leadership post, but remains a state official who ranks elected officials from his heavily Republican district who have pushed for his removal.

Also on Friday, the Ohio Nominating Council’s Public Utilities Commission announced the names of four new finalists for the position created by then-PUCO Chairman Sam Randazzo in November to Republican Governor Mike DeWine.

They are:

– Jenifer French, an attorney who lost a re-election bid to the Franklin County’s Common Pleas Court in November

– Virginia King, Associate Attorney General at Marathon Petroleum Corp. in Findlay, focused on the company’s sustainability efforts

– Daniel Shields, who worked for PUCO for 30 years, including as federal energy attorney, and for the last seven years with the Office of Consumer’s Counsel

– Melissa Shilling, a 17-year-old member of the State Environmental Auditing Appointment Board

In a rare move, DeWine declined the initial list sent to him on Jan. 27 and sent a letter to the panel stating that all candidates were in attendance “appropriate,” he preferred “To consider additional capable candidates” before making his decision. The move was quickly criticized by consumers who viewed at least one of the candidates as highly skilled.

The second list of semi-finalists did not contain duplicate names from the first list, which DeWine had rejected.

Randazzo was not charged in the bribery investigation. His resignation came days after the FBI and FirstEnergy searched his Columbus townhouse and found that former executives paid $ 4 million to the firm at an official meeting in Ohio that contained Randazzo’s description of terminating an alleged consulting contract. The payment came just before DeWine appointed Randazzo as PUCO chair.


Gillispie reported from Cleveland.

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Convicted rapper in notable Spanish ‘gag legislation’ case arrested | Leisure

“I’m not going to let you tell me what to think, feel or say,” Hasél told The Associated Press late Monday. “This gives me an additional incentive to keep writing the same songs.”

Jordi Dalmau, chief of the Mossos d’Esquadara police for western Catalonia, said Hasél’s arrest, during which the barricades of desks and benches blocking the entrance to the building were dismantled, was carried out “normally” and the activists did not resist. The rapper had refused to voluntarily respond to a subpoena last week to go to jail.

Before he was thrown into a police car, he called out to the followers: “Death to the fascist state!”

Over 200 artists, including film director Pedro Almodóvar and actor Javier Bardem, signed a petition last week in support of the rapper. Amnesty International found that Hasel’s case was the latest in a series of trials against artists and social media personalities under the Conservative Government’s 2015 Public Safety Act.

Valtònyc, another rapper convicted in 2018 on similar grounds, fled to Belgium, where judicial authorities have denied Spain’s extradition request. Other recent cases involved puppeteers providing political satire and bloggers joking about the assassination of General Francisco Franco’s authoritarian regime between 1939 and 1975.

The Spanish government’s proposal at the eleventh hour to amend the penal code according to the law is rejected by the conservative and far-right opposition.

The Case For An ODST-Fashion Halo Infinite Spin-Off

Once Halo Infinite has come and gone, 343 Industries should consider expanding into the expanded universe of Halo, just like Halo 3: ODST.

One of Bungie’s more surprising endeavors during his time with the Halo franchise was Halo 3: ODST, a spin-off shooter not spearheaded by Master Chief. Starring the legendary Special Forces of the Halo universe, Halo 3: ODST was the first (and last) first-person shooter in which players did not play as Spartans. Even Halo: Reach, although the Master Chief was not in sight at all, was very different as the players were still Spartans at the end of the day. Halo 3: ODST stressed a specific vulnerability and trust of the franchise in many ways, arguably more than Reach that a Halo Infinite Spin-off could retake in a similar fashion.

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Even if the development progresses Halo InfiniteUpon release in Fall 2021, an ODST-style spin-off would be a welcome surprise, provided Infinite is successful. Understandably, 343 Industries has to play it safe with Halo Infinite no matter how many people have still enjoyed Halo 5. However, provided Infinite is good to usher in the new generation of Halo games, followed by a spin-off in The Same Vein as Halo 3: ODST would be a perfect interim release before the next big Halo game. There are still several facets of the Halo world outside of the Master Chief’s perspective that he should explore without disrupting the long-term dynamic of Halo Infinite.

CONNECTED: Halo: The Master Chief Collection’s custom game browser for testing

343 industries can develop an ODST-like game, but not yet

Halo 3 par

what is so special about that? Halo 3: ODST is that it has grown exponentially from a humble addition to the base Halo 3 experience to a full version on its own. Bungie had the confidence to take the players away from the Master Chief, if only briefly, to tell a story usually banned from the many Halo novels and other media outlets. With 343 Industries taking responsibility for the Halo franchise, it’s roughly halfway through his time playing it safe and experimenting with storytelling. Halo 4 played through a largely external and independent story for the Master Chief relatively neutral, while Halo 5: Guardians granted a lot of creative freedom in the follow-up.

However, many fans had expressed their dissatisfaction with Halo 5. Not only did the game (and to some extent its marketing) have expectations of an entirely different Halo game, the campaign in particular has been a major criticism for many. On the other hand, Halo Wars 2 was an ambitious effort by 343 Industries to tell an original Halo story, and it was largely positively received. Even if the game didn’t have a particularly climatic ending, it did may be set up to connect to Halo Infinite with its cliffhanger end. 343 Industries certainly has what it takes to tell an original Halo story, it just didn’t quite balance with the post-Bungie show.

CONNECTED: Halo Infinite should wrap up those lingering storylines

ODST-esque storylines that Halo could explore after infinity

Assuming Halo Infinite is positively received critically / commercially, this could certainly open up the possibility of a Halo secession in the universe. Whether or not that’s likely is a whole different question, though Bonnie Ross of 343 Industries encouraged the idea of More Halo spin-offs in the future. Assuming that 343 Industries would like to embark on the ambitious storytelling path between main Halo entries, there is ample source material and events throughout Halo canon worth exploring. Similar to Halo 3: ODST, there are a few key points in Halo’s Past that are ripe for storytelling opportunities.

The most immediate focus would be the time gap between Halo 5: Guardians and the supposed year in which Halo Infinite is supposed to take place. Without taking into account the events of Halo Wars 2, there is about two years in the universe between the two main Halo games. Obviously based on what annoyed Halo Infinite at length, Humanity suffered a great loss from the exiles. Whether Master Chief was there or not, it would be interesting if these specific events were the subject of a spin-off story. Halo Infinite will no doubt go into what happened, though it doesn’t necessarily have to have the same specificity as a standalone game.

Alternatively, another important part of the Halo lore to focus on in a spin-off would be the pre-covenant uprising that takes place in the many colonies of humanity. While Halo major games have rarely touched the Insurrectionistsand Halo: Reach only briefly references them. The human insurgents are a large part of Halo’s expanded universe. Prior to the Human Covenant War, humanity was involved in a civil war with fellow human beings whom the government and military of the United Nations Security Council rejected as a threat to nationalism.

Not to mention various other themes or characters in the Halo canon that would be worth exploring, whether through a first person shooter or other genres. The possibilities are certainly endless, but these are the prime suspects at 343 Industries who actually created an ODST-style spin-off after Halo Infinite.

Halo Infinite should appear in autumn 2021.

MORE: Predicting the release date of Halo Infinite

Five-year update February 2021

The popular Skyrim Mod returns after 5 years

About the author

Rob Dolen
(610 articles published)

Rob Dolen is not a distant relative of Bob Dole, but is a features writer for Game Rant. Video games are a huge fan of extensive lore and game analysis and are cool. Freedom Fighters is underrated. Probably not good at competitive halo anymore.

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As suicides rise, younger survivors make case for hope in movie | Leisure

LOS ANGELES (AP) – “Every and Every Day” represents studies of courage, both in life and in the MTV documentary about young people and suicide.

In open and insightful conversations, nine survivors share what marginalized them and how they struggled and continue to struggle to continue to lay claim to themselves and their right to life.

With young people suicides, which have already increased in recent years, and the relentless pandemic that is under pressure, a film that gives voice to those who attempted or considered suicide is gaining urgency. It will air ad-free on MTV on Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. EST.

One young person, a college student named Hannah, did not hesitate when invited by director Alexandra Shiva and executive producer Sheila Nevins to take part in the project. (The last names of the participants have been omitted from the documentation.)

“It was an instant ‘yes’,” said Hannah in an interview. “I have to do this, I have to take this opportunity to tell my story. Hopefully the kids and people out there who watch will hear my story. Hopefully they will see that I have overcome so many obstacles and they can too.”

She emphasized what others say in the film: It’s important to realize that you can’t do it alone.

“I had really big problems and I didn’t reach out for help and if I didn’t reach for help it almost killed me,” said Hannah. “I really want you to see what not to do.”

Family and friends also play a crucial role, Shiva said.

“If you think someone is thinking about suicide, ask them. If you talk about it, someone is no longer at risk,” she said.

According to a September 2020 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the suicide rate among people ages 10 to 24 rose 57.4% from 6.8 per 100,000 in 2007 to 10.7 im from 2007 to 2018 By comparison, the report said the rate had been statistically stable from 2000 to 2007.

The pandemic appears to be further undermining mental health in America. According to a survey published by the CDC last August, young adults ages 18 to 24 are among the groups most susceptible to thoughts of suicide.

“Every and Every Day” does not deal with statistics or experts, but gives the floor to the participants and their individual stories. There is also a group zoom discussion where the young adults can connect with each other and indirectly with the audience.

With quiet, undramatic honesty, they talk about how long they’ve battled depression – many since middle school – and what it took to realize that they couldn’t survive without support. For colored people, skeptical attitudes of the community towards mental health treatment and the pressure of expectations are cited as further burdens.

“I grew up with the idea of ​​always having to be perfect, always having to represent black excellence,” said Hannah.

Latino and Indian American participants said they addressed the prejudice that psychological problems are shameful, while LGBTQ participants share their own burdens. Others in the film prove that no one is exempt, including those who come from happy homes, wealth, or who avoid facing ethnic or other prejudices.

The filmmakers wanted to make sure that “we had enough experience so that someone who tunes into MTV doesn’t feel like they’re not represented. They can actually see themselves in someone,” Shiva said. The film will also be available on mtv.com and the MTV app and later Pluto TV.

Attempts were also made to include the very different therapies, some of which contained medication and some of which did not, that the participants found valuable.

The Jed Foundation, which aims to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among teenagers and young adults, partnered with MTV Documentary Films on the project and was one of the groups Shiva and producer Lindsey Megrue looked for after participants helped.

Donna Satow of the foundation said she admires the brave openness of those in Every and Every Day and believes they will carry weight with their peers who watch the film. She and her husband Phil started the foundation after losing their youngest son Jed to suicide in 1998.

“So many young people suffer in silence. They really don’t want to talk about these feelings,” said Donna Satow. “So when you see your own age group speak and speak in a language that they actually speak and understand, it is powerful and really takes the conversation to the next step.”

Clyde hoops coach Marc Case maintains fiery type amid uncommon 12 months

CLYDE – In a season that was far from routine, at least one aspect remained consistent for the Clyde boys’ basketball team: Marc Case.

The experienced coach, who has been an integral part of Big Country for over 30 years, was still himself – fiery, emotional and demanding.

And the folks around the Bulldogs program wouldn’t have it any different.

“He just treats you like his own son,” said senior security guard Jacob Roberts. “He treats you like one of his own, and you have to love him for that.”

“Intensive trainer, better guy”

Called “old school” itself, Case’s coaching style is often expressed in yelling – whether it be against officials during a game or against players who make a mistake.

Although Case was toned down compared to decades ago, he said it was difficult to keep his passion bottled up. It has been so since Cooper hired 23-year-old McMurry University and Amarillo Tascosa in 1974. He spent 20 years with Cooper.

More:Marc Case returns to Clyde as a headboy basketball coach

“Sport has always been very emotional for me,” said Case. “I’m just not one of those coaches – I see a lot of these guys sitting with their legs crossed and not getting up much. It just was never my style.

“If this ball goes up in the middle of the jump, a fire will start in the oven and it will keep burning.”

That makes it understandable that Case could be referring to Texas Tech trainer Chris Beard, a friend and former McMurry trainer who went viral this week after his rant after an expulsion.

“I don’t know how you can train and spend the time we spend making the sacrifices we make and not being fully involved in what you do,” Case said. “They ask your players to do that. Sometimes things just overflow. That’s why they have technical fouls.”

Case, 69, has never shied away from sharing his thoughts with officials, but he said his number of technical fouls was low. He values ​​referees, what he calls a “thankless job,” and has always tried to remain professional, even with disagreements.

It is also noticed by officials.

Jeff Groban, a 33-year-old referee, likes to name Case’s games. He got to know the coach off the field, where he behaved very differently.

“It’s actually pretty cool,” said Groban. “I know he’s passionate about the game. He yells and yells a lot, but that’s just part of his personality on the basketball court. All in all, he’s just a really, really nice guy off the court. He gets very intense at the basketball court, but I’m used to it. I’ve seen it for 30 years …

“He’s very popular with pretty much everyone. Everyone knows he’s a very intense coach, but he’s a better guy.”

Players get it too

This intensity is sometimes aimed at players too. It’s a persistent approach that has turned some off but tries to get the best out of its group.

“We have our moments,” said Roberts with a laugh. “You do something bad and then you get yelled at. I like being yelled at. It makes me play harder … The ones who probably haven’t left us earlier this season. But everyone who’s on the team loves it now. “

Scott Campbell, Clyde Sporting Director, lured Case out of retirement in 2018. Campbell said it is important that his staff can be themselves and he knows that Case’s players are better because of their sophisticated style.

“It definitely takes a tougher kid on your mind,” said Campbell. “We’ve added kids to the basketball program for the past few years who realized that for some reason this wasn’t for me. But those who stuck to it, those who followed his course really did.” benefits from it. “

Jacob Roberts, Senior Guard for Clyde, tries when Merkel's Reid defends Hoyle in a District 6-3A game at Merkel High School on Jan. 12.

For Case, it’s about setting standards and complying with them.

“I don’t know if I’ve changed that much,” said Case. “… I think kids still want to know what the parameters are, what your expectations are, what your goals are, and how you are going to try to achieve them. That really hasn’t changed.”

Feisty bunch of bulldogs

Case admits those goals were missed this season, which Clyde finished 14-12 after losing to Jim Ned on Friday.

But the road was not easy for the Bulldogs, whom Case described as “the hardest-working, liveliest bunch I’ve ever trained.”

Three of District 6-3A’s playoff teams won at least 20 games, and Jim Ned, the multi-year performance, finished third, 10-4. Clyde lost three competitions against the top teams in the league by four points or less.

This competitiveness comes as no surprise to Groban, who said Case teams are always made up of fighters.

“One thing about him is that his kids always play hard for him,” said Groban. “Since I’m officiating for him, whether it was Clyde or Cooper … anyone who plays for him you know they’ll come out and play hard no matter what.”

Marc Case, the Clyde boys' basketball coach, expresses his displeasure with a Friday without a call.

That’s what Roberts and the other three seniors on the team did. This group, which includes Monroe Burleson, Jorge Cantu and Dusty Porter, holds a special place in Case’s heart. Because of the unique challenges the pandemic and the entire team bring, it has been a year the coach will not forget.

“They don’t seem to be bothered by anything,” said Case, “whether it’s about the COVID issues or whatever. We lost some really close games that kept us out of the playoffs, but they just kept grinding and continued working. ” Your attitude was great. “

Be continued

This is not the end of the line for Case.

The coach believes the program, which had a 19-2 JV roster, is a step in the right direction. And there is no hesitation in his desire to move on. After all, Case said he struggled to fill his free time during his previous retirement.

“Coach Case and I have already talked about how things will look in the future,” said Campbell. “I know he still feels like he still has a few things left in the tank and I think the kids at Clyde will definitely benefit from that.”

As long as his second stint with Clyde continues, Case will no doubt keep doing things the way he can.

“My plans are if they want me to come back I’ll definitely come back,” said Case. “But I know somewhere on the street I can’t do this forever. When that time comes, all I can do is thank Clyde, the ward, and the school administration for the support they have given me.

“It was just a fantastic situation.”

Clyde basketball coach Marc Case claps Merkel during a District 6-3A basketball game on Jan. 12.

Stephen Garcia is a sports reporter who primarily covers schools in the Big Country. Follow him on Twitter at @ARN_Stephen. If you value local news, you can get local journalists with one digital subscription to ReporterNews.com.

As suicides rise, younger survivors make case for hope in movie | Leisure

“I grew up with the idea of ​​always having to be perfect, always having to represent black excellence,” said Hannah.

Latino and Indian American participants said they addressed the prejudice that psychological problems are shameful, while LGBTQ participants share their own burdens. Others in the film prove that no one is exempt, including those who come from happy homes, wealth, or who avoid facing ethnic or other prejudices.

The filmmakers wanted to make sure that “we had enough experience so that someone who tunes in to MTV doesn’t feel like they’re not represented. You can actually see yourself in someone, ”said Shiva. The film will also be available on mtv.com and the MTV app and later Pluto TV.

Attempts were also made to include the very different therapies, some of which contained medication and some of which did not, that the participants found valuable.

The Jed Foundation, which aims to promote emotional health and prevent suicide among teenagers and young adults, MTV Documentary Films partnered on the project and was among the groups that helped Shiva and producer Lindsey Megrue find participants.

Donna Satow of the foundation said she admires the brave openness of those in Every and Every Day and believes they will carry weight with their peers who watch the film. She and her husband Phil started the foundation after losing their youngest son Jed to suicide in 1998.

Maryland confirms case of South African Covid variant that is extra infectious

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan will hold a press conference on November 17th in Annapolis, MD to discuss COVID-19 concerns.

Bill O’Leary | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Maryland has reported a case of the new, highly communicable Covid-19 The first variant found in South Africa marks the third case discovered in the United States, Governor Larry Hogan announced on Saturday.

The case involves an adult resident who lives in the Baltimore area and has not taken any international travel in the past. Maryland health officials and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed this.

“We strongly encourage Marylanders to exercise particular caution to limit the additional risk of transmission associated with this variant,” said Hogan. “Please continue to practice normal health and safety precautions, including wearing masks, regular hand washing, and physical distancing.”

The first two U.S. cases of the South African variant, known as B.1.351, were identified in South Carolina on January 28. Other variants found in the US come from the UK and Brazil.

The variants do not appear to cause more serious illness or an increased risk of death, but are considered highly contagious. Health officials are particularly concerned about variant B.1.351 as preliminary research suggests that vaccines may be less effective at controlling it.

president Joe Biden signed a travel ban last week on most non-U.S. citizens who entered the country and were recently in South Africa Reintroduction of travel restrictions on the entry of non-US citizens from the UK and Brazil.

The virus has infected more than 25.9 million people and killed at least 436,000 people since the pandemic began in the United States. according to dates compiled by Johns Hopkins University.