Georgia well being officers confirmed the primary case of the U.Ok. coronavirus variant in an 18-year-old male with no journey historical past. In a press launch despatched out Tuesday, officers mentioned the affected person is isolating at residence and make contact with tracing was underway.
The discovery was made throughout an evaluation of a specimen despatched by a Georgia pharmacy to a industrial lab. It was not but clear how the affected person contracted the variant.
“The emergence of this variant in our state needs to be a wake-up name for all Georgians,” Kathleen Toomey, commissioner of the state’s division of well being, mentioned within the press launch. “Even as we start rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine, we should not let down our guard and ignore fundamental prevention measures – put on a masks, social distance and wash your fingers incessantly.”
The variant, recognized as B.1.1.7, was first found within the U.Ok. a number of weeks in the past, and the primary state to report a case within the U.S. was Colorado. Since then, New York, California and Florida have reported instances.
The variant is considered way more transmissible than the unique pressure of COVID-19 first detected when the outbreak started. The U.Ok. has entered a 3rd nationwide lockdown citing a surge in new instances believed to be pushed by the B.1.1.7 variant.
On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo referred to as the variant a “game-changer,” and mentioned the nation has been making an attempt to play catch-up for the reason that pandemic started. Cuomo mentioned the variant will solely make the foot race tougher and referred to as for faster vaccination measures.
Across the nation, officers have been placing strain on well being professionals to expedite the vaccination course of so states can start to enter the following distribution part. As of Tuesday, the U.S. had distributed greater than 17 million doses of vaccines, however solely 4.8 million truly made it into the arms of Americans.