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Coronavirus Latest: UK Variant Of COVID-19 Found In Upstate New York

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the state health department testing labs has discovered a case of the more contagious form of the coronavirus first discovered in the U.K. in a Saratoga County man.

Cuomo said the man, in his 60’s, works in a jewelry store, N. Fox Jewelers on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, and that three other employees have also tested positive for the virus.

“He did not travel recently,” Cuomo said. “This suggests that it’s in the community, it’s community spread.”

The man was symptomatic but is recovering and is doing well. While the strain of the virus is more easily spread, it does not make people any sicker than the form of the virus that has been circulating throughout the pandemic.

Cuomo said he does not expect this to be the last case of the new strain to be found in the state.

On Long Island, the 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate is 9.39%. The rest of New York is 7.84%.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone says the county has seen the highest number of new cases since the start of the pandemic.

The county’s 7-day positivity rate is 10.5%. The daily infection rate exceeded 11%. Suffolk County saw more 100 coronavirus deaths in December than in the last six months combined.

The 7-day COVID-19 positivity rate in Connecticut is 6.27%

Connecticut health officials say restaurants and workplaces contribute to the most COVID-19 infections in the state. That’s after the state tracked 84 coronavirus clusters. The largest number of new clusters in December were at child care facilities.

Restaurant owners find the state data incomplete, and call on the state to publish more regular reports with a larger sample. They hope the data will match New York’s analysis that only 1.45 of infections come from bars and eateries.

Karen DeWitt contributed to this reporting.