The University of Virginia on Friday announced the new U.K. variant of COVID-19 is present in the “university community.”

The university did not immediately respond to questions regarding how many people have the new variant nor whether those people are students or staff. However, a news release said that the university has identified “cases of the B.1.1.7. Coronavirus.”

This “emphasize[s] the importance of preventative measures as positive cases of COVID-19 have increased both on- and off-Grounds,” the news release said.

The variant identified by UVA originated in the United Kingdom. It is believed to be more contagious than the original COVID-19 strain. 

“It is now present in more than 70 countries and 37 states,” the university release said. “Officials believe it will become the dominant strain in the U.S. within a month.”

The new strain was identified as cases among UVA students have skyrocketed. The university is averaging 36 new cases a day, many found through its surveillance testing. All students are being tested weekly.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.


Jessie Higgins

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