More contagious UK COVID-19 variant arrives in Florida

The highly contagious coronavirus variant first found in the United Kingdom has arrived in the Sunshine State.

The reported case is in a Martin County man in his 20s who hadn’t traveled, according to the Florida Department of Health. It is believed to be the first identified UK COVID-19 variant case in Florida.

“The Department is working with the CDC on this investigation,” the department announced late Thursday. “We encourage all to continue practicing COVID-19 mitigation. At this time, experts anticipate little to no impact on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

FDOH provided no further details about the case.

Florida is among the earliest states to report a COVID-19 variant case. After spreading across the UK and other countries around the world, cases are now emerging in states such as California and Colorado.

The announcement comes hours after the COVID-19 pandemic slammed Florida with a new record total of 17,192 new confirmed cases Thursday. Since the onset of the pandemic,  more than 1.3 million cases have been reported in Florida and 21,673 Florida residents have died with the virus.

The announcement also came on the eve of a new year, further dampening a holiday

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