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Gov. Newsom: More Covid-19 Variants Have Been Discovered In California

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Governor Gavin Newsom said today that two cases of the South African COVID-19 variant have been detected in California.

Both cases were in the Bay Area – one in Alameda County, and the other in Santa Clara County.

There are also over 150 confirmed cases of the more contagious U.K. variant in the state, including at least eight in Los Angeles County.

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Newsom made the announcement at a press conference at the Fresno Fairgrounds, which was recently converted into a COVID-19 vaccine super site (you can watch the live-stream above).

He said the variants are of global concern:

"The issue of mutations is top of mind, not only here in the state of California, across this nation, but increasingly around the globe."

The CDC says there's no currently no evidence that the South Africa variant is deadlier or more likely to trigger more severe instances of COVID-19, but it could be more contagious than the original virus.

Data also shows that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet approved for use in the United States, is not as effective against the South African variant.

State health officials have also confirmed over 1,200 combined cases of two "West Coast" strains. Those variants have also been found in at least two dozen other states.

And another variant first identified in Brazil has not yet been detected in California, though just a handful of cases have been reported in Minnesota and Oklahoma, along with a presumed case in Tennessee.

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