A press conference was held on Monday afternoon between Governor Andrew Cuomo and the media to confirm information regarding the COVID-19 variant from the United Kingdom being identified in New York State.

“Wadsworth lab confirmed a case of the U.K. strain in Saratoga County,” Cuomo said. “He’s a man in his 60s who had some symptoms. He did not travel recently, so evidence suggests it’s in the community.”

Based in Albany, Wadsworth Laboratory first began their research into the new strain of COVID-19, which was first spotted in the United Kingdom, in late December.

“I think this strain is more prevalent than people know,” Cuomo said.

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The UK B117 COVID-19 strain, according to Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, is more transmittable. The governor said this strain is 70% more contagious than the original COVID-19 strain and he said contact tracing is paramount to keep the spread of the strain under control.

“It’s about contact tracing,” shared the Governor. “We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can. We need the community’s help.”

Three Important Ways to Slow the Spread, According to the CDC

  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others and stop the spread of COVID-19.
  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others who don’t live with you.
  • Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you are to be exposed to COVID-19.


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