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South Carolina’s neighboring states all report cases of COVID-19 variant

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 10:09 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/AP/CNN) - South Carolina’s three neighboring states have now all reported at least one case of a variant strain of the novel coronavirus health officials believe is more contagious.

North Carolina officials reported the first case in their state Saturday. Officials say the B.1.1.7 variant was identified in a sample from an adult in Mecklenburg County.

The Centers for Disease Control’s tracking map, last updated on Friday, shows no cases of the variant have been reported in South Carolina, but with North Carolina’s new case and cases previously reported in Georgia and Florida, all three of the Palmetto State’s nearest neighbors have cases.

Florida, as of Friday, had the second highest number of cases at 50, behind California’s 72. Georgia reported six cases.

The first case of the variant strain in Washington state was also announced Saturday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed 21 states reporting cases of the UK...
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed 21 states reporting cases of the UK variant of the novel coronavirus as of Friday. North Carolina and Washington state also reported their first cases this weekend.(Source: CDC)

Fauci: We need to assume COVID-19 variant could be more deadly

Dr. Anthony Fauci offered a grim warning Sunday morning about the coronavirus variant strain first identified in the United Kingdom.

Fauci, who is the chief medical advisor on the coronavirus to President Joe Biden, said during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the variant could be more dangerous and more deadly.

“We need to assume now that what has been circulating dominantly in the UK does have a certain degree of increase in what we call virulence, namely the power of the virus to cause more damage including death,” he said.

Fauci said he made his assessment after looking at new data from British medical researchers.

So far, it does appear current vaccines should be effective against the variant.

Experts say they hope the new variant will reinforce the importance of social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks.

Copyright 2021 WCSC/CNN. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.