NY resident tests positive for South African COVID variant: Cuomo

Coronavirus test

Registered nurse Raquel Hernandez places a nose swab into a test tube for a COVID-19 test at a mobile testing site at the Murray County Expo Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma on April 14, 2020.

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — A Long Island resident tested positive for the COVID-19 variant first discovered in South Africa, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday.

It’s the first known case of this specific strain infecting a New York resident. Last week, a Connecticut resident who was hospitalized in New York City was found to have the South African variant.

The test was processed at a New York City-based commercial lab and verified at the Wadsworth Center in Albany. Cuomo said the resident lives in Nassau County, but declined to provide further details.

“…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,” the governor said in a statement Sunday. “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.”

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