New coronavirus variant in New York spurs caution, concern

  • Another mutated version of the coronavirus has popped up in New York City, and experts reacted to the the news with a mixture of caution and concern.
  • The new variant first appeared in the New York area in late November, and has since cropped up in neighboring states, according to researchers at the California Institute of Technology, one of two teams to share their work this week.
  • But how problematic the variant may be isn’t known yet. Viruses are constantly mutating — or making typos in their genetic code — as they spread and make copies of themselves.
  • Most are not of particular concern,” said Francois Balloux, director of the University College London’s Genetics Institute. However, he added, “Noticing them early, flagging them, raising concern is useful."

Staying Safe

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By the numbers

Cases by State

StatesConfirmedDeceased
California3,460,32650,991
Texas2,621,18142,285
Florida1,892,30631,018
New York 1,606,52046,981
Illinois1,181,22622,607
Georgia997,38817,199
Ohio962,40417,125
Pennsylvania922,99023,868
North Carolina852,98111,137
Arizona812,90715,814
New Jersey778,91223,147
Tennessee770,94011,321
Indiana659,12712,494
Michigan642,86816,432
Wisconsin615,2256,994
Massachusetts575,99315,978
Virginia570,9827,963
South Carolina511,5468,443
Alabama491,1109,831
Minnesota481,8316,450
Missouri477,0787,902
Louisiana427,6899,561
Colorado424,6775,925
Oklahoma422,1564,302
Kentucky401,7504,570
Maryland379,4667,805
Utah369,4331,890
Iowa361,9365,438
Washington337,6534,942
Arkansas318,1225,397
Kansas292,8374,724
Mississippi292,8116,613
Nevada292,6304,933
Connecticut279,1597,614
Nebraska200,1632,063
New Mexico184,0803,671
Idaho170,5951,850
Oregon154,5542,204
West Virginia130,8132,290
Rhode Island125,1852,496
South Dakota111,9641,872
Puerto Rico107,1581,272
North Dakota99,6211,441
Montana99,4451,350
Delaware85,8011,406
New Hampshire74,5681,163
Alaska58,179290
Wyoming54,202671
Maine44,117701
Washington40,1221,005
Hawaii27,358435
Vermont14,840203
Guam7,106118

By the numbers

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Think of others, get COVID shot: UK's Queen

The monarch and her 99 year-old husband Prince Philip, who is currently in hospital with a non-COVID infection, received their shots from a household doctor at the Queen’s Windsor Castle residence."Once you've had a vaccine you have a feeling of you know, you're protected which I think is very important and as far as I could make out it was quite harmless," the Queen said in a video call with health officials overseeing inoculations across the four nations of the United Kingdom."It was very quick, and I’ve had lots of letters from people who have been very surprised by how easy it was to get the vaccine. And the jab – it didn’t hurt at all," she added, likening the virus to a plague.More than 18.6 million Britons have already received their first COVID-19 vaccine injection, and celebrities including singer Elton John and actor Michael Caine have joined campaigns encouraging people to take up offers to have the shot."It is obviously difficult for people if they've never had a vaccine because they ought to think about other people other than themselves," said the monarch, who described Britain's rollout of the vaccination, one of the fastest in the world, as "remarkable".
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