Florida confirms first case of the U.K. COVID-19 variant. Patient had no history of travel

·2 min read

The Florida Department of Health has reported the first case in the state of the U.K. COVID-19 variant.

On Thursday night, the Department of Health tweeted that the first case in the state of the more contagious strain of the novel coronavirus was found in a man in his 20s who lives in Martin County. Health officials say the man has no history of travel. The DOH is working with the CDC on the investigation.

At this time, experts have said they anticipate little to no impact on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. Health officials are encouraging everyone to continue practicing COVID-19 safety measures.

The U.K. strain, which is named for the United Kingdom where it was first detected, is a mutated and likely more contagious strain of the novel coronavirus due to its rapid spread across southern England. About half of the 350,000 known sequences of the virus come from the U.K.

The variant strain has since been discovered in other places, including in two U.S. states: Colorado and California. In those states, public health officials appear to be collecting more samples of the virus and analyzing them to see if the genetics are changing.

On Thursday, the Florida DOH reported 17,192 COVID cases, the highest single-day tally ever recorded in the state. The state also saw near-record numbers of test results reported on Wednesday (about 180,000 people) and Thursday (about 166,500 people).

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