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Long Island Resident Tests Positive For COVID Variant First Detected In South Africa

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The tragic number of coronavirus deaths comes amid growing concern about new variants of COVID-19, considered to be more contagious. CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports.

Video Transcript

DANA TYLER: The tragic number of deaths comes amid growing concern about new variants of the coronavirus, considered to be more contagious. A Long Island resident has tested positive for the variant, first detected in South Africa.

CBS2's Jennifer McLogan joining us live now from Nassau County. Jennifer?

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Dana, good evening. That Nassau County resident who tested positive for the variant never traveled to South Africa, in fact, never traveled out of New York. Is the variant spreading more rapidly? Is it less responsive to current vaccines?

LAURA CURRAN: This is not a reason to freak out, but it's a reminder to continue to use common sense.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: New York State's first confirmed case of the COVID-19 variant, initially discovered in South Africa, has been found in a Nassau County resident here in the tiny Hamlet of Glen Head-- population 5,000 in the town of Oyster Bay.

LAURA CURRAN: All of the protocols were followed, in terms of contact tracing, quarantine. The person was not hospitalized.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: CBS2 has learned the person who contracted the South African variant is a Glen Head woman who did not travel outside the US, and since testing positive two weeks ago, has quarantined and is recovering.

Shopkeepers say they are keeping calm, but focused.

FRANK CLARA: A setback. Hopefully it's just an isolated case.

STEVE YAGUDAYEV: As long as he or she quarantines, I think we are in a better place.

ANTONIO GUARDABO: It's still very dangerous, and we don't know if it's actually going to get worse.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Dr. Anthony Fauci cautions against complacency. These variants may spread more rapidly and be less responsive to vaccine.

- New variants definitely make me nervous.

ANTHONY FAUCI: Not trying to scare people. I'm saying we've got to be prepared that variables are there and we could get another surge.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The variant spread comes on the heels of state news from Jones Beach, where on February 15, we're told, a small number of vaccines given out that day were ineffective because they were stored at the wrong temperature. There is no health risk and appointments are being rescheduled.

- You don't want people to be panicked. You want them to be informed.

- I'm not surprised with anything with this COVID.

- Am I protected? I hope so.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: New York State's health department says 1,379 doses were administered at Jones Beach on February 15. Of those, 81 were deemed ineffective due to temperature fluctuations during transport. Those appointments are being rescheduled.

We're live tonight at the Nassau County Executive Building. I'm Jennifer McLogan, CBS@ News. Dana, back to you.

DANA TYLER: Jennifer, thank you.