Georgia becomes FIFTH state with Super-COVID as California reports 32 cases: Highly contagious UK strain rapidly spreads coast-to-coast as boy, 18, with no travel history is latest to be diagnosed
- The new variant is between 50% and 70% more transmissible, scientists say
- Georgians are heading to the polls Tuesday to cast high-stakes Senate elections
- The first US case of the strand was reported in a nursing home in Colorado
- It has since also been discovered in New York, Florida and California
- San Diego on Tuesday was reporting 32 cases of the variant
- The ‘mutant’ variant of the virus that began ravaging across the UK towards the end of last year forcing PM Boris Johnson to announce a third lockdown Monday
Georgia on Tuesday announced its first case of the ‘mutant’ COVID-19 strain.
The virus is said to have been found in an 18-year-old boy with no travel history. Georgia joins New York, California, Colorado and Florida in all reporting cases.
The new variant is between 50% and 70% more transmissible, scientists say.
Georgians cast high-stakes final votes Tuesday in elections to determine the balance of power in the new Congress, deciding Senate runoff elections sure to shape President-elect Joe Biden’s ability to enact what could be the most progressive governing agenda in generations.
The first US case of the strand was reported in a remote nursing home in Colorado last week. It has since also been discovered elsewhere in the state, as well as in New York, Florida and California.
San Diego on Tuesday was reporting 32 cases of the variant, bringing to the total cases across the US to 37. Wilma Wooten, county public health officer, said: ‘The fact that these cases have been identified in multiple parts of the region shows that this strain of the virus could be rapidly spreading.’
The ‘mutant’ variant of the virus that began ravaging across the UK towards the end of last year, causing cases to surge and forcing Prime Minister Boris Johnson to announce a third nationwide lockdown Monday.
The first US case of the strand was reported in a remote nursing home in Colorado last week. It has since also been discovered elsewhere in the state, as well as in New York, Georgia, Florida and California, with at least 37 people now infected
The mutant strain was picked up on the same day voters went to the polls in Georgia. Voters are pictured at Sara Smith Elementary polling station, in the Buckhead district, on January 5, 2021 in Atlanta during the Georgia runoff elections
Georgia DPH Commissioner Katheen E. Toomey said: ‘The emergence of this variant in our state should be a wake-up call for all Georgians.’
In San Diego 24 newly confirmed people with virus are said have no travel history and to have come from 19 different homes.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday identified the New York patient Monday as a male jewelry store worker in Saratoga Springs, who is in his 60s. The man did have COVID-19 symptoms but is ‘on the mend.’
He said New York state is testing three more possible cases of ‘mutant’ COVID-19 strain in Saratoga with it taking up to 44 hours to do the genome sequencing to detect the variant.
Three other people linked to the jewelry store have also since tested positive for COVID-19, but Cuomo said it’s unknown if they have the variant.
Much like the first US case of the variant in Colorado, the man had no recent travel history, suggesting a community spread.
The CDC believes the strain first emerged in Britain in September and said last week it suspects it has been circulating in the US for some time.
The strain is thought to be 50 to 70 percent more transmissible but not more deadly.
The UK’s new variant of the virus is not more deadly but is around 50 percent more infectious. This chart from different regions from the UK shows how much more infectious the new super-COVID strain is in comparison to other virus variants
The Empire State had earlier become the fourth in the nation to detect the ‘mutant’ variant of the virus.
Cuomo on Tuesday appeared to push back against NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s calls to ban all flights from the UK to the US.
The governor called on the federal government to begin enforcing mandatory testing on all international passengers arriving in the US, like they are already doing with travelers from the UK.
De-Blasio had urged the Trump administration to ‘stop the madness’ and block all travel to and from the Britain to help stop any further spread of the new super-infectious UK variant of the virus.
It’s now reported in the UK that around one of every 50 residents – or roughly one million people – now has the coronavirus.
In light of the surge, as of December 28, the CDC began requiring all airline passengers arriving from Britain – including U.S. citizens – to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure. Unless a dual-citizen or travelling for essential purposes, the majority of Brits are currently banned from entering the US.
The UK is also currently grappling with a second mutant strain of the virus, said to originate from South Africa, which experts fear may be resistant to vaccines and potentially more deadly.
That strain has not yet been detected in the US.