NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Three additional cases of the COVID-19 strain originally found in the U.K. have been identified in the state of New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.

The first case of the highly contagious strain was detected in Saratoga Springs earlier this week. The individual who tested positive is affiliated with a jewelry store there.

Cuomo says two employees of that jewelry store have also tested positive for the U.K. strain.

MORE: New York Has First Confirmed Case Of New, Highly Contagious Strain Of COVID

The third new case is unrelated to the exposure in Saratoga Springs. It was traced back to a man in his 60s in Massapequa, Nassau County, who first tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 27.

The health department is working with contact tracers in Nassau County to identify potential exposures.


“The U.K. strain is here, it is real, and the Usain Bolt-like speed through which it spreads is nothing short of frightening,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The governor called for the federal government to mandate COVID testing for all international travelers.

MORE — Only On CBS2: Researchers Testing Samples For New UK COVID Variant At New Jersey Lab

Two cases of the U.K. strain have also been found in Connecticut. New Jersey has not reported any cases of the variant.

Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a travel ban from the U.K. to the U.S., saying, “If we don’t have a travel ban, then we’re literally inviting this new horrible variant in the door.”



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