With 46 cases, Florida has more instances of UK COVID-19 variant than any other state

Variant is more contagious, CDC says

Coronavirus information signs are displayed in a bus stop in London, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, during England's third national lockdown since the coronavirus outbreak began. The U.K. is under an indefinite national lockdown to curb the spread of the new variant, with nonessential shops, gyms and hairdressers closed, most people working from home and schools largely offering remote learning. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) (Matt Dunham, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Cases of the U.K. COVID-19 variant that’s believed to be even more contagious have more than doubled in the past 11 days in Florida, bringing the total as of Monday to 46.

On Jan. 7, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were 22 cases of the new variant in the Sunshine State.

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Now, the nationwide number has swelled to 122, compared to 52 earlier this month. More than a third of those cases are in Florida, which has more instances than any other state in the country. California is next with 40 cases followed by Colorado with six.

The CDC updates its map highlighting those figures every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can see it embedded below.

According to the health agency, there’s no evidence to suggest the U.K. variant, which was first detected in September 2020, is more deadly.

“In the United Kingdom (UK), a new variant called B.1.1.7 has emerged with an unusually large number of mutations. This variant spreads more easily and quickly than other variants. Currently, there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness or increased risk of death. This variant was first detected in September 2020 and is now highly prevalent in London and southeast England. It has since been detected in numerous countries around the world, including the United States and Canada,” the CDC wrote on its website.

Scientists have said there is no indication the U.K. variant reacts any differently to coronavirus vaccines.

Late last week the U.K. moved to toughen up its entry requirements for those traveling into the country amid fears of a new virus variant in Brazil, dubbed P.1.

Conservative Prime Minister Prime Minister Boris Johnson said remaining travel corridors will end Monday and that everyone flying into the U.K. will have to have proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before departure. Under the travel corridor arrangements, anyone arriving in the U.K. from countries deemed safe was exempt from a period of quarantine, the Associated Press reports.

Once in Britain, travelers will have to self-isolate for 10 days unless they can show evidence of a further negative test at least five days after arrival.

The CDC also reports a third variant, called 1.351, which emerged in South Africa and appears to shares some mutations with the variant detected in the United Kingdom.

The South Africa and Brazil variants have not yet been detected in the U.S.

About the Authors:

Adrienne joined News 6's digital team in October 2016 to cover breaking news, crime and community interest stories. She graduated from the University of Central Florida and began her journalism career at the Orlando Sentinel.