Highly contagious ‘super Covid’ is now in New York as strain spreads in California

THE highly contagious new strain of Covid-19 has made its way to New York and is continuing the spread in California.

The first case of the new strain in the US was recorded in Colorado last week, after the virus variant was first detected in the UK last month.

Cases of the variant have since been recorded in California, Florida, and as of Monday, New York state.

New York Gov Andrew Cuomo reportedly confirmed that at least one case had been recorded in the state, a 60-year-old man in Saratoga County.

The man has not traveled recently, according to reports, which could suggest community spread.

In California, Gov Gavin Newsom confirmed on Monday that four people in San Diego has the new strain of the virus, and one was hospitalized.

Two more cases were also detected in the state, in San Bernardino.

As the first few cases of the super-contagious strain are being detected, health experts warn that the majority of cases in the US could be this new strain by March.

Former FDA Commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb told CBS' Face the Nation that the US plan to roll out the recently-approved Covid vaccinations is not moving fast enough to stop the new strain from spreading.

"Right now, there's some estimates that the new variant probably represents about one percent of all infections in the country," Gottlieb said on Sunday.

"By March, it's going to be the majority of new infections. It's going to grow quickly."

Gottlieb said that the detection of the new strain in the US "creates more urgency around trying to get this vaccine out more quickly and get more people vaccinated, even if it's a more general population."

Health experts do not, at this time, believe that the new variant of the virus is more deadly than other known strains of Covid, but it does appear to be significantly more transmisible.

The two vaccines that have been approved in the US so far – one from Pfizer and BioNtech and one from Moderna – both appear to still be effective against the new strain as well.

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