Cuomo: New COVID Strain From UK Now Spreading in New York
The new highly contagious COVID strain first discovered in the UK has been found in a New York resident not far from the Hudson Valley.
The UK variant (B.1.1.7) of the virus has been detected in a person from Saratoga County, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday. The man has had no known travel history, which suggests community spread of the highly contagious UK strain in New York.
"The Wadsworth Lab has confirmed New York State’s first case of the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7) of the virus that causes COVID," Cuomo said. "An individual from Saratoga County, New York, tested positive for the strain. The individual had no known travel history."
The person from Saratoga County is a man from Saratoga Springs in his 60s who's affiliated with N. Fox Jewelers on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, NY State of Politics reports.
Three others from the jewelry store also tested positive for COVID, according to Cuomo. It's unclear if those three have the UK strain. Anyone who visited the store between Dec. 18 and Christmas Eve is urged to get a COVID test.
Cuomo said more contract tracing is underway. The Saratoga Springs man is said to be recovering.
The new strain is believed to be as much as 70 percent more transmissible, CNBC reports.
The new variant of the virus has also been found in Florida, Colorado and California. On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson issued a strict national lockdown to stop the spread of the new variant, ABC reports.
While not confirmed, experts believe the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations should be effective against the new virus.