New Jersey reports first 2 cases of UK COVID-19 variant

New Jersey on Friday announced its first two cases of the UK COVID-19 variant found in a man from Ocean County and a young traveler staying in the northern part of the state. 

Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the 60-year-old patient had no travel history or known exposure to the virus. He tested positive on Jan. 6 and a lab later detected the variant. 

The patient never required hospitalization and his symptoms have since resolved, according to Persichilli.

The second case of the UK variant was detected in a "young traveler who was staying in Northern New Jersey." Persichilli said the child tested positive for the virus in New York City on Jan. 11 and remained asymptomatic. 

"While the variant may spread more easily and more quickly than previous strains, at this time there is no evidence that infections by this variant cause more severe disease, according to the CDC," Persichilli said. 

The health commissioner also pointed out that both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are believed to be effective against the UK strain.

New Jersey on Friday announced over 3,500 new infections and more than 100 deaths. Meanwhile, Gov. Phil Murphy said the state has inoculated 500,222 people including 65,583 long-term residents and staff. 


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