Curriencies

California has identified first case of new Covid strain identified in UK, Newsom says


In this June 30, 2020, file photo, Gov. Gavin Newsom removes his face mask before giving an update during a visit to Pittsburg, Calif.Rich Pedroncelli | APCalifornia health officials have identified the state’s first case of the new and more infectious strain of Covid-19 that was initially discovered in the United Kingdom, Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday.The patient was in the southern part of the state, Newsom told White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci during a live Q&A session livestreamed on Facebook. Fauci, however, said the news wasn’t a surprise.”I don’t think that the Californians should feel that this is something odd. This is something that’s expected,” Fauci told Newsom, adding that he predicts other states will soon identify cases with the new strain.On Tuesday, Colorado health officials confirmed the nation’s first case of the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant. During a press briefing Wednesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said the state was investigating a potential second case of the new strain.Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said earlier Wednesday that the new strain could add pressure to the nation’s hospitals, which are already overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients.Dr. Henry Walke, the agency’s Covid incident manager, said the new variant appears to spread “more easily and quickly than other strains,” but it does not seem to make people more sick or increase their risk of death.One particularly concerning aspect of the case in Colorado was that the patient hadn’t been traveling, “suggesting this variant has been transmitted from person to person in the United States,” Walke told reporters on a conference call.Some good news: The new variant doesn’t appear to affect the effectiveness of the vaccines, and it also doesn’t appear to evade detection from diagnostic testing, Fauci told Newsom.This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.

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