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‘UK Variant’ Of COVID-19 Found In Utah, Officials Say

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Department of Health on Friday reported that the “U.K. variant” of COVID-19 has been discovered in Utah.

According to a statement from the health department, the variant was found in a 25-44 year old man from Salt Lake County, and that it was discovered through ongoing sequencing of positive COVID samples from the Utah Public Health Laboratory.

“The property on the virus allows it to enter your body and attach to your cells more readily,” she state epidemiologist Angela Dunn.

The health department reported the patient is not known to have traveled outside of Utah.

“We fully anticipated we would find this strain in Utah. We know this strain is more transmissible than previous COVID-19 variants, and our hospitals continue to operate near or over capacity,” said Dunn.

“Now more than ever, we need to be practicing good public health practices by wearing a face mask, staying home when sick, avoiding large gatherings and physical distancing as much as we can,” said the state epidemiologist.

The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently approved are believed to be effective against the U.K. variant, authorities said.

According to reporting from the Associated Press, the U.K. variant is a more contagious strain, and it has been blamed for a sharp increase in cases and deaths in the United Kingdom.

In South America, yet another strain of the virus has been discovered and is being dubbed the “Brazil variant.”

The global pandemic death toll on Friday topped 2 million.

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