As the coronavirus pandemic has continued to drag on for more than a year now, more variants of COVID-19 have started to crop up.

Dallas County Health Department Public Information Officer Ann Cochran says some of the COVID-19 variants that have shown up, including right here in Iowa, do have differences mostly with how they spread.

“Some of the COVID-19 variants spread easier. That’s the main problem of what we have found. So, to prevent the new strains from dragging out this pandemic we really encourage folks to get vaccinated as soon as possible and continue using all the tools for mitigation.”

Cochran tells Raccoon Valley Radio it’s important for people to continue to follow guidelines such as staying home when you are sick and getting tested if you feel you may be sick even if you don’t think it is COVID-19. 

“Even if you think “oh it’s just my allergies” stay home, (get) tested and maybe you’ll be the one to keep the virus from spreading but as far as the variants being much much different. It’s not so much that they are different it’s mostly that they spread easier.”

For those outside the current vaccine tier groups Governor Kim Reynolds announced that all adults in Iowa will be eligible for a vaccine starting April 5th.