Variant classifications (from the CDC): The U.S. government SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG) developed a Variant Classification scheme that defines three classes of SARS-CoV-2 variants:
Variant of interest: A variant with specific genetic markers that have been associated with changes to receptor binding, reduced neutralization by antibodies generated against previous infection or vaccination, reduced efficacy of treatments, potential diagnostic impact, or predicted increase in transmissibility or disease severity. Variant of concern: A variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g., increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures. Variant of high consequence: A variant of high consequence has clear evidence that prevention measures or medical countermeasures (MCMs) have significantly reduced effectiveness relative to previously circulating variants. Long-term care facilities background
A CMS spokesperson issued the following answers to questions from IowaWatch writer Andy Kopsa reiterating authority of CMS reporting outbreaks, cases and vaccination statistics at long term care facilities and the Iowa Veterans Home. There are 440 CMS certified long-term care facilities in Iowa.