New coronavirus variant found in Virginia resident

The new coronavirus variant first identified in the U.K. has been found in another Virginia resident.

The Virginia Department of Health said Wednesday that the variant, known as B.1.1.7, was found in a sample from an adult from Northwestern Virginia who had recently returned from an international trip. That makes four cases of the new variant among Virginians; the other three cases are in the Northern Region, which includes the D.C. area, the department said.

The B.1.1.7 variant of the virus is said to be more contagious than others, yet not more virulent. The health department said in the statement that a preliminary report from UK scientists disputes the virulence claim, but the department stressed that more testing was needed. It’s generally considered that current coronavirus vaccines work on the new variant.

The health department said again that the best way to protect yourself, in addition to being vaccinated when it’s your turn, is to wear a mask and stay six feet apart from people whenever possible.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2012 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He went to George Washington University as an undergraduate and is regularly surprised at the changes to the city since that faraway time.

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