More UK COVID-19 variant cases found in Westchester, Gov. Cuomo says
Two more cases of the U.K. variant of COVID-19 have been detected in Westchester, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday during his briefing.
It was not clear exactly where those cases are located, since the state did not share that information.
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There are now 25 confirmed U.K. variant cases in the state. The variant is believed to be more contagious, and health experts say it will inevitably lead to more hospitalizations and deaths.
"CDC has said the U.K. strain is going to overtake the COVID-19 strain by March. That's how quickly this strain spreads. If that is true, you could see the infection rate go up again," says the governor.
New York state Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker says he's been in touch with U.K. science advisors about the strain.
"The fact that it's more transmissible means that there's going to be more cases," says Zucker. "If there are more cases, there's more hospitalizations. And if there's more hospitalizations, there's a risk of more deaths."
On Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the South Africa and Brazil strains don't appear to be in the United States, but more testing needs to be done. He said the more the virus sticks around, the better chance it has to mutate, and stressed the importance of everyone getting a vaccine.