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South African COVID-19 varriant found in Virginia

Virginian who was diagnosed with the strand lives in Eastern Virginia

Coronavirus (WSLS 10)

In his Friday morning press conference, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that the South African COVID-19 variant was found in Virginia.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Virginia is the third state to report the variant. The first two states that reported the variant are South Carolina and Maryland, for a combined total of five cases in those two states.

[Where are Virginia’s coronavirus cases? The health department’s interactive map]

The Virginian who was diagnosed with the strand lives in Eastern Virginia, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

VDH is currently investigating this case and assessing this person’s travel history.

Below is a map of how VDH defines that region:

Virginia Department of Health map of regions and districts (Virginia Department of Health)

The CDC reports that the South African variant of coronavirus, known as B.1.351, shares some mutations with the variant that originated in the United Kingdom. Health officials say the South African variant was first reported in the United States at the end of January 2021.

[Virginia sees 5,069 new coronavirus cases, now reporting 521,467 statewide]

Previously, a COVID-19 variant out of the U.K. was reported in the Commonwealth at the end of January when an adult in Northern Virginia tested positive for the strain.

About the Author:

Samantha Smith joined WSLS 10’s award-winning digital team as a digital content producer in July 2018.