UK Coronavirus Variant Detected In 59 NYC Cases, New Data Shows

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NEW YORK CITY — A highly-contagious new coronavirus strain cropped up in 59 cases in New York City since its arrival a few short weeks ago, according to recently-released data.

The city health department on Tuesday released data on COVID-19 cases traced back to the so-called “UK variant.”

The variant — officially dubbed B.1.1.7 — first arose in the UK and drew widespread concerns over its higher transmissibility. So far, its spread in New York City appears relatively limited.

“As of February 17, the B.1.1.7 variant has been reported in 59 people in NYC,” according to a health department statement. “Genomic sequencing of a subset of virus specimens taken from NYC residents during the week starting February 8 found an estimated 6.2% were B.1.1.7.”

The data released Tuesday states 45 of 724 coronavirus samples from New York City came back positive for the variant.

That’s the bulk of UK variant cases so far reported in New York City, but officials cautioned the samples may not be representative of all cases in the city.

New York as a whole has seen 137 UK variant cases, according to the CDC.

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Jenny Oslen