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Healthcare workers treating a patient in UCLA Medical Center in Torrence, California, on Dec. 29. Photo: Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California reported its first case of a new variant of the coronavirus that may be more transmissible, AP reports.

The big picture: California is the second state to document a confirmed case of the variant — which originated in the United Kingdom — after Colorado reported the first case in the United States on Tuesday.

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the infection during an online conversation with Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, according to AP.
  • The governor said the case was located in Southern California, but he did not provide any other details about the person who was infected.
  • “I don’t think Californians should think that this is odd. It’s to be expected,” Fauci said Wednesday, per AP.

Of note: There is thus far no evidence that the new variant is more deadly — only that it appears more transmissible. There is also no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines will be less effective against the new variant.

  • A non-peer reviewed study by the Centre for Mathematical Modelling of Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that the variant is 56% more transmissible than other strains.
  • The British government previously warned that a new variant could be up to 70% more transmissible.

Go deeper: What you need to know about the coronavirus mutation

Go deeper

18 hours ago - Health

Biden admin to boost COVID vaccine delivery to states for at least 3 weeks

Vice President Harris receives her second COVID-19 vaccine dose in Bethesda, Maryland, on Jan. 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration plans to increase its COVID-19 vaccine shipments to states and tribes from 8.6 million doses per week to 10 million for at least the next three weeks, as part of an effort to vaccinate the majority of the U.S. population by the end of this summer.

Why it matters: Hospitals in states across the U.S. say they are running out of vaccines and the country's death toll is sharply rising.

Scammers have stolen over $130 million in coronavirus-related schemes

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Over 100,000 Americans have collectively reported roughly $132 million in fraud losses from scams related to the coronavirus and government stimulus checks since the March start of the pandemic, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Coronavirus-related fraud complaints peaked in May when the IRS began sending its first round of stimulus checks. Congress recently proposed a second round of stimulus.

Updated 21 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios