PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Officials at the Virginia Department of Health say two new COVID-19 variants first found in California have now been reported in Virginia.
In a release sent Thursday evening, the Virginia Department of Health says the first cases of the SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.427 and B.1.429 were first found in samples from Virginia residents back in December 2020 and February 2021.
The two variants first emerged in California in the summer of 2020. At this time, there is no evidence that infections with these variants cause more severe disease.
With the addition of the two new variants, Virginia now has identified a total of 14 cases of the B.1.427 variant, nine cases of the B.1.429 variant, 26 cases of the B.1.351 variant (first identified in South Africa) and 127 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant (first identified in the United Kingdom).
A spokesperson from the Virginia Department of Health confirmed that the new variants are now “circulating throughout the Commonwealth in all health regions” and should be a concern to all Virginians.
State health officials are encouraging Virginians to continue practicing health measures such as wearing masks, washing hands frequently, and practicing social distancing.