COVID Variant Cases Rise Amid Spike in Mass.

The state lab is working on sequencing three different COVID-19 variants to see if they are causing a spike in cases in Massachusetts

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Experts are watching closely as data shows several different COVID-19 variants cropping up across Massachusetts.

In Massachusetts, there have been 441 reported cases of the U.K. variant, four cases of the Brazil variant and nine cases of the South African variant, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state lab is sequencing the three variants to see if they are causing a spike in cases in Massachusetts.

"I continue to be worried about the latest data and the apparent stall we are seeing in the trajectory of the pandemic," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. "The decisions we make now will determine what the pandemic looks like in the days and weeks ahead."

Experts have said the U.K. variant will likely become the dominant strain in the country by mid-April.

Despite a growing number of residents getting vaccinated, Massachusetts has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases over the last week. More than 1.1 million people are now fully vaccinated, state data shows.

The vaccines are still effective against these variants, according to experts.
But health experts warn the overall level of infection in the country is still too high.

“I’m often asked, ‘Are we turning the corner?’ my response is more like, we are at the corner," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden. "Whether or not we are going to be turning that corner still remains to be seen. “

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