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First case of COVID-19 virus mutation from UK confirmed in Hudson Valley

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that there are now 18 known cases of the highly contagious strain of coronavirus in New York.

News 12 Staff

Jan 18, 2021, 6:13 PM

Updated 1,250 days ago

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The first case of the COVID-19 strain from the U.K. has been confirmed in northern Westchester County.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement over the weekend and says that there are now 18 known cases of the highly contagious strain of coronavirus in New York.
MORE: Where can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?
It was two weeks ago when the state's first case of the U.K. variant had been confirmed upstate in Saratoga County.
While health officials warn the new variant is up to 70% more contagious than earlier versions of the virus, there is currently no evidence showing that the new variant causes more severe illness or increased risk of death.
Dr. Harish Moorjani is an infectious disease specialist in Briarcliff Manor, and warns that we must be extra vigilant as the latest virus strain continues to spread.
"Double down on those prevention methods, the social distancing, the mask wearing, the hand washing. If you follow those instructions, we will be able to prevent this virus from spreading," he says.
Westchester County Executive George Latimer also weighed in on the situation, warning about the seriousness of the discovery of the U.K. variant in Westchester, as the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths continue to climb.
"For those people who still think it's not a real problem, we have the highest level of infections and total cases since the peak. The more communicable version of the disease means a lot more people will get the disease that haven't had it yet," he says.
Contact tracing is currently underway in Westchester to determine where the infected individual may have traveled and who they came in contact with.
Health experts believe the U.K. variant will be the dominant strain in the U.S. by March.


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