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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is holding a press briefing on the coronavirus Tuesday following his announcement that the state has identified its first Covid-19 case caused by a new, more contagious variant of the virus.
On Monday, Cuomo told reporters on a conference call that New York had confirmed its first Covid-19 case with the new strain, known as B.1.1.7., that was was initially discovered in the United Kingdom. The man, who is now recovering, lives in upstate New York with no travel history, the governor said.
The strain, which has also been found in California, Florida and Colorado, is thought to be more transmissible but doesn’t appear to make people more ill or increase the risk of death from Covid-19, experts have said.
“If other states could test as much as we were testing and tested for the U.K. strain as much as we’ve tested, they would be finding them,” Cuomo said.
During a press briefing earlier Monday, the Democratic governor pushed the state’s hospitals to administer their allotments of coronavirus vaccines faster, threatening to issue fines up to $10,000 if they don’t use the doses by the end of this week.