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Florida has nearly half of known US cases of COVID variant

The CDC says Florida now has 22 cases of that mutated virus.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla — The Centers for Disease Control says Florida has nearly half of the known cases in the U.S. of a likely more contagious variant of the coronavirus.

The development came Friday as Florida reported the second day of new COVID-19 cases surpassing 19,000.

The variant that emerged in Britain was reported on the last day of 2020. The Florida Department of Health said the mutation was found in a 20-year-old man from Martin County with no prior history of travel. 

"At this time, experts anticipate little to no impact on the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine," the Department of Health wrote in the tweet making the announcement.

This latest mutation pushed the U.K. into a lockdown just ahead of Christmas as the CDC implemented a negative COVID-19 test requirement for travelers heading out of the country and to the U.S.

The CDC says Florida now has 22 cases of that mutated virus. California has 26 cases, Colorado has two and New York and Georgia have each reported one case of the new variant.

Colorado was the first state to confirm a case of the new variant in the U.S. but some experts believe it was here sooner.

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