Gov. Cuomo: New COVID variant found in man who works at NY jewelry store

WABC logo
Tuesday, January 5, 2021
New COVID variant found in NY as state tries to ramp up vaccinations
Jim Dolan has more on the first reported case of the highly contagious COVID variant in New York and what the state is doing to ramp up vaccinations.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a case of the new, highly contagious COVID variant has been identified in Saratoga, New York.

The case was detected in a symptomatic man in his 60s, who works at a jewelry store, N. Fox Jewelers, in Saratoga Springs.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a case of the new COVID variant has been identified in Saratoga, New York.

He says that he did not travel recently, suggesting community spread.

"The symptoms are not more severe, and he appears to be on the mend," Cuomo said. "It apparently has no difference from the vaccine point of view -- not more deadly but it is more transmittable, which means higher positivity rate, higher infection rate, higher hospitalization rate."

Three other people associated with the store have tested positive for COVID, but it is not yet clear if those three cases are the new strain or not.

The state's lab in Wadsworth is running tests on them now.

RELATED | NY schools can now stay open even if regions surpass 9% positivity

This new guidance applies to New York City schools amid increasing positivity.

"From a public health point of view, it's about contact tracing," Cuomo said. "We have to make sure we are doing everything we can do to effective contact tracing of this case."

Cuomo said the state has conducted 5,000 tests for the new strain and suspected if other states tested for it as robustly they, too, would detect it.

The jewelry store was closed from December 24 through Monday, January 4.

TRENDING | Bright blue UFO seen crashing into ocean near Hawaii prompts calls to 911, FAA

An unidentified flying object spotted in Hawaii caught enough people's attention to get the Federal Aviation Administration involved.

The state is asking anyone who went to the store from December 18 through December 24 to contact them and get a test immediately.


Coronavirus by zip code - New York City

COVID Vaccine Calculator: Find out how many people may get a COVID-19 vaccine before you

Do you have coronavirus symptoms?

Where to get tested for COVID-19 coronavirus

WATCH: Eyewitness to a Pandemic


New York City

New Jersey

Long Island

Westchester and Hudson Valley


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Submit a News Tip