CHEMUNG COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) – The UK variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Chemung County, according to County Executive Christopher Moss.
We were advised earlier today that the (UK) variant (B117) was detected in Chemung County. Please continue to practice our safety protocols including social distancing, mask wearing, washing hands and etc. We’re scheduling vaccinations as quick as we receive the doses. Be safe.Christopher Moss
The variant was previously detected in nearby Tompkins County, but has not yet been found in Steuben or Schuyler. News of the variant comes as New York announced that domestic travelers are no longer required to quarantine or test-out within 90 days of full vaccination. International travelers continue to follow CDC quarantine guidance.
As of Wednesday there were only 136 known cases of the UK variant in New York and more than 2,500 in the United States.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the UK variant “spreads more easily and quickly than other variants” of the coronavirus.
In January 2021, experts in the UK reported that this variant “may be associated with an increased risk of death compared to other variant viruses, but more studies are needed to confirm this finding.” The UK variant was first detected in the US at the end of December 2020.
The COVID-19 vaccines are believed to be effective against the UK variant.
The CDC says they do not know how widely the UK variant has spread, how the disease differs, and how the variant may affect existing therapies and tests. They say that public health officials are studying these variants quickly to learn more to control their spread.
As of Wednesday morning, more than 12,000 Chemung County residents have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 7,505 (8.91%) have received their second dose.
This is a developing story and 18 News will have more information as it becomes available.