A variant of the COVID-19 virus first found in the United Kingdom last year has been found in Virginia, in the state’s first case, officials say.
A Northern Virginia resident with no reported recent travel history tested positive for the variant, the Virginia Department of Health announced in a statement Monday afternoon.
The variant is “associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19,” the statement said.
Virginia health officials informed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the case.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver urged Virginia residents to continue working to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We know this variant strain spreads more quickly between people than other strains currently circulating in our communities, but we still have more to learn about whether it causes more severe illness. As our state public health officials closely monitor the emergence of the B.1.1.7 variant in our Commonwealth, it is important that all Virginians continue following mitigation measures,” he said in the statement.
Two cases of the variant were recently found in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. One of the patients had recently traveled abroad; the other was the patient’s spouse, the governor said.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.