This State is Now America's "Super-COVID" Hotspot
In December, the World Health Organization confirmed that COVID-19 had mutated and that more than one variant of the deadly virus was circulating around the world. While these new manifestations of it are not any more deadly than the original, health officials have confirmed that they are much more contagious—which translates to more infections in less time. The CDC confirmed earlier in the year that these new strains had been detected in the United States. Now, one state in particular has emerged as America's "super-COVID" hotspot. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
More COVID Variants Have Been Found in Florida than Anywhere Else
According to the latest statistics, more cases of COVID variants have been found in Florida than any other state. According to data released this week by the CDC, there are 46 known cases of the "UK variants" — up from just 22 last week.
Marco Salemi, a University of Florida professor and molecular biologist, explained to the Miami Herald that Florida needs to expand their efforts to collaborate with researchers in order to determine what percentage of the states confirmed cases are actually made up of the variant.
"We know it's in Florida," he said. "What percent [of cases] is impossible to say. The genomes we have were likely collected before or at the very beginning of the introduction of [the variant] to Florida."
California, a state struggling to slow the spread of COVID-19, is the second hotspot with 40. And, this week, state health officials also confirmed that a new variant, different from the UK strain, is also circulating around the state. According to the California Department of Health via the LA Times, it has been identified in a dozen counties—including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Francisco, San Bernardino, San Diego, Humboldt, Lake, Mono, Monterey and San Luis Obispo—and is linked to several large outbreaks in Santa Clara County.
"This virus continues to mutate and adapt, and we cannot let down our guard," said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County health officer and director of the Public Health Department, in a prepared statement.
How to Remain Safe From the Variant
So follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.