COVID variant identified in Glen Head

The state's first South African variant of (Photo courtesy of the Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo)

The first New York state case of a South African variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Nassau County, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last weekend, and the county has confirmed that the individual testing positive lives in Glen Head.

According to the state, the sequencing involving a Nassau County resident was conducted at Opentrons Labworks Inc.’s Pandemic Response Lab, a New York City-based commercial lab, and verified at the Wadsworth Center in Albany. Only days before, a Connecticut resident who had been hospitalized in New York City was found to have the South African variant.  

Jordan Carmon, a spokesperson for Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, confirmed in a statement that the individual lived in Glen Head.

“We don’t believe the South African variant is more deadly, but it may be more contagious,” Curran said in a statement to her Facebook page. “The best response is to continue the tried and true precautions: wearing masks, avoiding social gatherings, distancing, and staying home and getting tested when sick.”

“We continue to see a reduction in positivity and hospitalizations throughout the state, which is good news, and this progress is allowing us to reopen the valve on our economy even further,” Cuomo said in a statement. “But with the discovery of a case of the South African variant in the state, it’s more important than ever for New Yorkers to stay vigilant, wear masks, wash hands and stay socially distanced. We are in a race right now — between our ability to vaccinate and these variants which are actively trying to proliferate — and we will only win that race if we stay smart and disciplined.”

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