Cuomo confirms first case of Covid-19 variant in New York

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pictured Nov. 25, 2020, in Rochester, N.Y. | Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

New York state health officials have confirmed New York’s first case of a new, more contagious strain of Covid-19 in Saratoga County, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday.

Key context: The Wadsworth Lab in Albany identified the strain, which was first identified in the United Kingdom, in a Covid-19 sample submitted by Saratoga Hospital. Cuomo said the strain was found in a man in his 60s, who is affiliated with a jewelry store in Saratoga Springs.

The governor said three other people connected with the store have tested positive for Covid-19, but it’s unclear whether they also have the variant form of the virus. The man found to have the strain did not travel recently and appeared to get it from “community spread,” Cuomo said.

The strain has also been identified in California, Colorado, Florida and 33 other countries.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson reimposed a national lockdown on Monday as the variant surged throughout the United Kingdom.

What’s next: State health officials are urging anyone who was at N. Fox Jewelers from Dec. 18 through Dec. 24, when it closed, to get tested for Covid-19.

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