Virginia sees its first cases of the COVID-19 variant from Brazil

The two cases are from the Northwest Region and the Eastern Region

Coronavirus testing
Coronavirus testing (AP)

A new coronavirus variant out of Brazil is spreading in Virginia.

On Friday, the Virginia Department of Health reported the first cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variant P.1.

This variant was first identified in travelers from Brazil in late 2020.

The two cases were identified in one adult resident of the Northwest Region and another adult resident from the Eastern Region. Officials say both have no history of travel.

The map below shows precisely how VDH defines Virginia’s Northwest and Eastern regions:

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

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

VDH says that this strain is associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19, but at this time there’s no evidence that infections with these variants cause more severe disease. To date, this variant has been identified in at least 22 other U.S. states.


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