California Announces First Case Of COVID Variant

Los Angeles, California—Oct. 30, 2020—Gov. Gavin Newsom talks to the media after visiting Dodger Stadium on Oct. 30, 2020. (Carolyn Cole/ Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles, California Oct. 30, 2020 Gov. Gavin Newsom talks to the media after visiting Dodger Stadium on Oct. 30, 2020. (Carolyn Cole/ Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced the first known case of the new and apparently more contagious variant of the coronavirus in the nation’s most populated state, following the first reported U.S. case in Colorado.

Newsom said he had just learned of the finding in a Southern California infection Wednesday. He announced it during an online conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious-disease expert.

“I don’t think Californians should think that this is odd; it’s to be expected,” Fauci said.

Newsom did not provide any other details about the person who was infected with the mutated version of the virus.

The Colorado and California cases have triggered a host of questions about how the variant circulating in England arrived in the U.S. and whether it is too late to stop it now, with top experts saying it is probably already spreading elsewhere in the United States.

The confirmed case in Colorado is a National Guardsman in his 20s who hadn’t been traveling, officials said. He has mild symptoms and is isolating at his home near Denver, while another Guard member has a suspected case. They had been sent last week to a nursing home struggling with an outbreak.

The case in California comes as the state ins consumed by a growing pandemic crisis, including record deaths.

Hospitals are increasingly stretched by soaring infections that are expected to grow in coming weeks. Southern California and the agricultural San Joaquin Valley have what is considered no intensive care capacity to treat patients suffering from the coronavirus. And state health officials remain worried about gatherings tied to New Year’s Eve.

But hope is on the horizon as vaccines roll out.

The statewide transmission rate has fallen to the point where one infected person is in turn infecting just one other individual, a development that Newsom called encouraging while warning that rates in central and Southern California remain much higher and the trend could reverse from holiday gatherings.


Associated Press reporters John Antczak in Los Angeles and Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco contributed to this story.

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Notable Replies

  1. But hope is on the horizon as vaccines roll out.

    Modified rapture.

  2. (Checks current headline on TPM)

    The cavalry coming to our rescue turned out to be 58 weasels in a pantomime horse.

  3. California is practically neighbors with Jina.

    Just sayin’…


  4. Viruses do not care about state or international boundaries. They don’t care about Brexit or the EU. They do not care about Mexican border walls, Incels, QAnon, American Exceptionalism, or cancel culture. They multiply, spread, evolve into new genomic variants and show up in the darndest places. They prove that biological evolution, undirected by a superego, is a fact as certain as relativity.

    They don’t respond to political rhetoric or Mitch’s poison pills. They can be managed down to the point of marginal significance and minimal loss of life if we accept the science, follow the health guidelines of the medical community, efficiently allocate the resources and get vaccinated.

    We can’t bargain this down, like Trump does with his contractors, to pennies on the dollar.

  5. I suppose if it could express a preference, the virus would prefer that they get out and meet more people…

    Anywho, the new variant will spread just like the old one. Maybe we’ll get some spiffy new CNN graphics to track it, with each state colored in as cases are discovered. We have utterly failed at anything resembling containment, because a substantial minority of the population does not care about protecting society as a whole at the cost of a minor inconvenience.

    I got told by a local grocery checkout person “the law says I don’t have to” when I asked if she could please pull up her chin-mounted mask before I moved forward in line. I was going to mention this to the night manager, but her own mask was dangling by one ear while she was in conversation with a fully non-masked employee. Never shopping there again. (This was HyVee for those within its regional territory. They are, I think, the only grocery in my area without a customer mask mandate. And obviously not an employee one either.)

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