As the total number of coronavirus infections in California approaches 3 million, health officials said Sunday that a new strain — different from a highly contagious variant first identified in the United Kingdom — is popping up more frequently across the state. Researchers have identified the strain in a dozen counties and have linked it to several large outbreaks in Santa Clara County. The California Department of Public Health said it’s not yet clear whether the variant is highly contagious or is just being identified frequently as lab work becomes more sophisticated. Santa Clara County laboratories studying changes in the virus’ genome sequence found the strain in samples from community testing sites and from outbreaks where “very high numbers of people exposed contracted the virus,” officials said. “This virus continues to mutate and adapt, and we cannot let down our guard,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County health officer and director of the Public Health Department, in a prepared statement. (….) In L.A. County, officials reported 108 deaths and 11,366 new positive cases Sunday, bringing the total to 13,848 deaths and slightly more than 1 million cases. Officials cautioned that the data reported Sunday may be artificially low due to a delay in reporting over the holiday weekend. So many people have died in Los Angeles County that officials have temporarily suspended air-quality regulations that limit the number of cremations. Health officials and the L.A. County coroner requested the change because the current death rate is “more than double that of pre-pandemic years, leading to hospitals, funeral homes and crematoriums exceeding capacity, without the ability to process the backlog,” the South Coast Air Quality Management District said Sunday.

via latimes: Another new coronavirus variant found across California, including L.A. County

Categories: Dienste