City releases new data on COVID-19 variants; dozens have UK strain

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NEW YORK — Fifty-nine New York City residents have tested positive for the U.K. COVID-19 variant as of last week, the health department announced Tuesday.

The new data was discovered through sequencing done by various lab partners, and is now available on the health department’s COVID-19 website.

The UK. variant — or B.1.1.7 — is considered to be more contagious than other strains in New York City and may cause more severe illness, the department said.

The department said New York City has more than tripled the number of specimens being sequenced in recent weeks in two of its labs.

In February, the city formally solicited for a vendor to expand the city’s capacity to sequence specimens.

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