HARRISBURGCoronavirus variant detected in Pennsylvania - A new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus has been detected in Pennsylvania for the first time, state health officials announced Thursday.
Someone in Dauphin County tested positive for the variant "after known international exposure," the Department of Health said in a news release. The patient had mild symptoms and has since completed isolation at home, health officials said.
"Pennsylvania has been preparing for this variant by working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has been sending 10-35 random samples biweekly to the CDC since November to study sequencing and detect any potential cases for this new COVID-19 variant," Dr. Levine said.
The new variant first emerged in Britain, sweeping across that country and prompting a national lockdown, and has since been detected in several states.
"There is still much to learn about this new variant, so we need to remain vigilant and continue to urge Pennsylvanians to stop the spread by washing their hands, practicing social distancing, avoiding gatherings, downloading COVID Alert PA and answering the call. Stay calm, stay alert and stay safe." Levine said.
Pennsylvania on Thursday announced 9,698 new infections and 265 virus-attributed deaths. Nearly 178k doses of the coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the state, according to the latest data.
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