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Local News

Cuomo: New COVID strain “This is a virus that travels and highly problematic”

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Cuomo: New COVID strain “This is a virus that travels and highly problematic”

2021-01-06 03:34:11

By Dwaipayan

Andrew Cuomo, New York Governor said Tuesday a new COVID-19 strain that was detected in the state after it was first identified in the United Kingdom last month "could be a game changer." He called it "highly problematic."

The state's first confirmed diagnosis of the new strain was detected in Saratoga Springs. The man who tested positive is affiliated with a jewelry store there, CBS New York reported with no travel history.

Cuomo urged anyone who was exposed, or who was exposed to someone who was exposed, to contact state officials. "There's nothing to be ashamed of," he said. "This is a virus that travels. But we must know. Containment is vitally important here."

Experts say there is no data that the new strain is resistant to the vaccines and the infections are no more severe. But the governor said this week since it is more transmissible it could lead to more cases and more hospitalizations.

"Even if the lethality doesn't go up, the fact that it is so much more transmittable is a very real problem," he said.

"Apparently the U.K. strain can actually overtake the original COVID strain in a matter of weeks," he said Tuesday. "That's how quickly it can transmit."

In late December, Colorado became the first state to confirm a case of the variant, in a man in his 20s with no travel history. Southern California reported a case soon after in a 30-year-old man with no travel history, and public health officials in Florida said they had also discovered evidence of a case in a man in his 20s with no travel history.

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