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California announces first case of new coronavirus variant

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 12/30/2020 Carly Roman
Gavin Newsom, Anthony S. Fauci are posing for a picture © Provided by Washington Examiner

California health officials identified the state's first case of the new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus that originated in the United Kingdom.

The Golden State has become the second state in the nation to have a confirmed case of the new strain, behind Colorado, which announced its first case on Tuesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom made the announcement during a Facebook Live event with Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday.

"Just an hour or so ago, we were informed that this new variant, this new strain that we have identified, obviously from the United Kingdom ... has been identified here in the state of California, in Southern California," Newsom said.

Fauci responded with nonchalance, stating that he expects the new strain will spread more widely in the coming days and weeks.

"I'm not surprised that you have a case and likely more cases in California, and we likely will be seeing reports from other states. Colorado [was] the first to do that," Fauci said, walking through the potential travel routes that could cause the disease to spread rapidly throughout the country. "I don't think that Californians should feel that this is something odd. This is something that's expected."

The first occurrence of the new strain was reported in the U.K. earlier in December. The variant spreads up to 70% more rapidly than the original iteration of the disease.

In response to the mounting rates of reported coronavirus cases, Newsom has imposed strict lockdown measures. He imposed new restrictions on Dec. 3, which included banning indoor dining, shutting hair and nail salons, and prohibiting private gatherings of any size.

According to the Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker, California has suffered the most confirmed cases of the coronavirus of any state in the country, with more than 2.2 million diagnosed cases recorded to date.

Tags: News, Gavin Newsom, Anthony Fauci, Coronavirus, California, United Kingdom

Original Author: Carly Roman

Original Location: California announces first case of new coronavirus variant

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