New, more contagious COVID strain is now in Florida

Color-enhanced image of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (in blue), which causes the dangerous respiratory disease COVID-19. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-Rocky Mountain Lab

The new, more contagious strain of COVID-19 has now been identified in Florida, following cases in at least Colorado and Southern California.

The Florida Department of Health this evening posted a tweet saying:

“Florida has evidence of the first identified case of the UK COVID-19 variant in Martin County. The individual is a male in his 20s with no history of travel. The Department is working with the CDC on this investigation. We encourage all to continue practicing COVID-19 mitigation.”

Another tweet from the department said: At this time, experts anticipate little to no impact on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine. For updates on the state’s vaccination efforts, text FLCOVID19 to 888777.

More to come…

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.