First case of South African COVID-19 variant found in NY

A Long Island resident has recorded the first known case of a South African coronovirus variant in New York State.

A mutated version of COVID-19 was found in a Nassau County resident, Governor Said in a news release.

It was announced a week after a Connecticut resident was hospitalized in New York City that it was a variant.

The strain, originally identified in South Africa, was discovered in the US last month – and scientists believe it can spread more easily than other virus variants.

Cuomo said coming to Empire State means “it is more important for New Yorkers to be vigilant, wear masks, wash hands and stay socially away.”

“We are in a race right now – between our ability to vaccinate and these variants that are actively trying to spread – and we will only win that race if we stay smart and disciplined,” he said.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran also urged residents to exercise caution.

“We do not believe the South African version is more deadly, but it may be more contagious,” Curren said in a statement. “The best response is to continue the tried-and-true precautions: wearing masks, avoiding social gatherings, staying away, staying home, and testing after getting sick.”

Meanwhile, the state’s latest COVID-19 number showed a declining trend in hospitalizations and deaths following the spike in the holiday season.

More than 5,800 patients were hospitalized on Saturday with the virus, up from 800 a week earlier.

Authorities recorded 75 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, the first daily death toll since December 16, at less than 100.

Cuomo also announced that the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate was 2.99 percent, falling below 3 percent for the first time since November 23.

“We continue to see positivity and hospital shortages across the state, which is good news, and this progress is allowing us to reopen the valve on our economy even further,” Cuomo said.

With post wires

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