By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today the first case of the South African variant has been identified in a resident of New York State.

Nassau County map/David Benbennick

The sequencing, involving a Nassau County resident, was conducted at Opentrons Labworks Inc’s Pandemic Response Lab, a New York City based commercial lab, and verified at the Wadsworth Center in Albany.

Last week, a Connecticut resident who had been hospitalized in New York City was found to have the South African variant.

Cuomo also announced that for the first time since late November, the state’s COVID-19 positivity rate dropped below 3 percent–now at 2.99 percent.

“We continue to see a reduction in positivity and hospitalizations throughout the state, which is good news, and this progress is allowing us to reopen the valve on our economy even further,” Governor Cuomo said. “But with the discovery of a case of the South African variant in the state, it’s more important than ever for New Yorkers to stay vigilant, wear masks, wash hands and stay socially distanced. We are in a race right now — between our ability to vaccinate and these variants which are actively trying to proliferate — and we will only win that race if we stay smart and disciplined.”

To date, New York has seen about 1.6 million COVID-19 cases, including 46,812 deaths.

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