NEW YORK — Two COVID-19 mutations — the UK variant and the NYC variant — are becoming more prevalent in New York City, but where they’re spreading differs by borough, according to a new report.
The city Health Department released a report on Monday detailing key findings of its ongoing analysis of COVID variants. The report included virus data recorded between Jan. 1 and March 27.
The Health Department found that by mid-March, virus variants made up over 70% of cases that were sent for further lab analysis — up from just 10% in January. DOH suggested the spread of more infectious strains is partly why the city has plateaued at around 3,000 to 4,000 new cases per day despite its vaccination push.
The Health Department also noted that the Brazilian strain, known as P.1, has been detected in the city in recent weeks and the number of associated cases is on the rise.
While the UK and NYC variants have been detected in all five boroughs, the report noted they are spreading in different areas of the city.
The UK variant is more prevalent in southern Brooklyn, eastern Queens, and Staten Island. The NYC strain is more common in the Bronx and central Queens.
The variant first discovered in the United Kingdom, known as B.1.1.7, is considered a variant of concern, which means there is evidence that it’s more infectious and can cause more serious illness. Research has found the UK variant to be 50% more transmissible than the original strain of COVID-19, according to DOH.
Here’s a map of UK variant cases in New York City broken down by zip code.
The New York City strain, known as B.1.526, is classified by CDC as a variant of interest, because there are signs that it increases transmissibility, however, it’s not yet clear whether it impacts disease severity, reinfection, and vaccine effectiveness.
Here’s a map of NYC variant cases in New York City broken down by zip code.