TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y.—The Tompkins County Health Department has discovered the UK variant of the coronavirus in a person who tested positive for COVID-19 in Tompkins County. The person is in isolation, the contact investigation has been completed and no close contacts were identified—the person had recently traveled and had already quarantined upon their return.
According to the Health Department, there is no evidence that this strain is more dangerous or lethal to people than the original coronavirus strain, which has shut down the United States for nearly a year. It is, however, more contagious.
“While this variant is more contagious, we are confident that we detected the positive case immediately and the individual did not have any close contacts,” said Public Health Director Frank Kruppa. “We all still have a part in stopping the spread, and must continue to wear masks, avoid crowds and keep distance from one another.”
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Here is more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/transmission/variant.html.
The case was discovered through Cornell University’s COVID-19 testing lab, and are sequenced for the UK strain when they identify as a close contact or after relevant travel from the United Kingdom. The first case was discovered in the US on Jan. 4, 2021, and there have been subsequent cases found throughout New York as well.
In addition, another person has died from the coronavirus in Tompkins County, the 19th since the beginning of the pandemic.
— Tompkins County Health Department (@TompkinsHealth) January 15, 2021