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Florida Has More Known Cases Of Highly Infectious ‘UK Variant’ Than Any Other State

Restaurant tables and umbrellas out on the street, where cars usually drive on. A man on a bicycle passes by.
Al Diaz
/
Miami Herald
Seating at Pink Taco expands onto closed-off Ocean Drive in South Beach on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.

The more state and federal health officials look for a mutated and highly-contagious strain of the COVID virus in Florida, the more they’re finding it.

Even with relatively scant monitoring for evolved strains of the virus, known as “variants,” federal officials say Florida now leads the country in known cases of the so-called “U.K. variant,” or B.1.1.7, with 46, according to new data released Monday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s up from 22 known cases last week. California has the next highest number, with 40 known cases.

It’s unclear how widespread the variant is in the country, because there isn’t a lot of analysis being done in the U.S. on known COVID cases to find out how often they are caused by the new mutation. Florida is part of a consortium led by the CDC involving 37 state and local public health laboratories, in an effort to track the variant as it becomes more prevalent.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.