The Small Colorado Town set off the epidemic. Then came the Coronavirus variant.

SIMLA, Colo. – This isolated running community on the high grounds is the last place where local residents first expect for anything, especially a new, more infectious version of coronovirus. But on Wednesday, state health officials announced that the first known case of variants in the United States was confirmed in a National Guard soldier sent to the city’s Good Samaritan Society nursing home to help with the Kovid-19 outbreak .

A second soldier at the nursing home has tested positive and may also be what the State Public Health Laboratory’s interim director Emily Travanty said in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.

All 26 residents of the nursing home and 20 of its 24 regular employees have tested positive for coronavirus in recent weeks, and four residents have died. It was not clear whether the two National Guard soldiers were infected in the nursing home or that they had picked up the virus before coming to Shimla. Arriving on December 23, after most cases at the facility, Colorado’s state epidemiologist Drs. Rachel Herali said.

Shimla is an unexpected place for a virus variant that has recently been revealed to be operational in the United Kingdom. Most of the things that happen here do not happen here. Trends come and go without notice. News is a commonly seen thing from a distance. At an altitude of 6,000 feet, about 80 miles southeast of Denver, in this wind gust of small prairie that has lasted for generations, the cattle have been shaped primarily by the rhythmic rhythms of rearing.

On Wednesday morning, following the news of the virus in Simla, a resident was asked what had changed at the age of 29 on the city’s only paved road. She looks west toward the snow-dusted tangle of lawn movers outside the MT Small Engine Repair, where, to the east, a troop of wild turkeys were crossing the main road in front of a completely empty coach-light motel, And said, “Nothing. “

This was true to a large extent when the virus arrived in the United States early in the year. Many of the nearly 600 residents of Shimla lived by believing that as most things sweep the country, the epidemic would pass through them.

“When the virus first started in the spring, it was calming the weather and we were busy paying too much attention,” said Don Bailey, a retired biology teacher who now farms black Angus at an out-of-town farm Let’s run. “We were checking the herd five or six times a day, and you don’t have to wear a mask when you’re out with the cows.”

There was almost no case in Summer County, and community life went on with little change. Members of 4-H showed off their prize sheep and cattle at the county fair, stayed in school sessions and old-timers still meet for coffee every morning at the Simla’s Lone Breakfast, Country Corner Cafe.

Mr. Bailey, a 71-year-old rancher, said, “We went ahead and canceled a friend with us every Wednesday, but otherwise things generally remained the same.” Even with the epidemic, he had opened up a man-made ancient saddle museum on its spread, which spread to visitors – although visitors’ moves would hardly break most social dispelling rules.

The city’s sense of isolation from the global problem changed this decline late when a second wave of infection swept across Colorado and hit Simla and surrounding Elbert County particularly hard, calling it a “serious risk” to the state’s level of danger. Shipped to where it still remains today. Soon almost everyone in this tight community knew someone rough.

“I have a friend in the ICU right now,” said 71-year-old Sen. Kurtchi, who runs a cafe with her husband Michael. “There are many people in the city who are sick. They will say that it is just the flu or bronchitis, but it is 26 miles to the nearest place where you can get a test. “

The virus’s response is shaped not only by geography but also by politics. President Trump garnered 74 percent of the vote here in November. Signs supporting him still sprouted on almost every block. On the fence of a quiet side street read: “Be free, vote Trump.”

In an epidemic in which precautions have become political, many residents refuse to wear masks. On Wednesday, nearly a quarter of the shopkeepers visiting the Shimla Food Store had their faces on their faces, despite being only half a block from the nursing home, where recently the entire patient population tested positive and the mutant virus was exposed.

Ms. Kurtachi shook her head, discussing the lack of a mask. Some of her longtime neighbors have called for a boycott of the cafe because she and her husband need masks.

On Wednesday, television news crews gathered in front of a modest, one-story nursing home while carefully cleaning the crew in a Hazm suit as they passed in and out of the back door, where the strong scent of cleaning products flowed down the street.

The state sent a nursing home on Tuesday to collect new samples from residents and staff members. Based on the samples tested so far, Drs. Herali said, it does not appear that the version is moving into the facility, but more samples were being tested on Wednesday.

The National Guard soldier confirmed that the variant is isolated at home in Arapahoe County, a suburban area in Denver, and with the suspected case separating east at a hotel in the town of Limon, Dr. Herali said.

At Shimla’s Lone Craft Shop, a dirt road where only visitors were half a dozen local cats roaming in the winter sun outside the front door, the owner, Carla Tracy, switched off the phone with a friend Was, who would tell that his new look came in his city.

“My God, this city of Itty-Bitty cannot be found on most people even on a map,” she said. “And we thought we wouldn’t have much trouble with the virus. Then it hit us. Just goes to show it to you everywhere. “

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