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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Healthcare workers collecting samples at a coronavirus testing site in Denver in November. Photo: Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Colorado's health department discovered the new variant of the coronavirus that may be more transmissible, Gov. Jared Polis announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters: It's the first known U.S. case of the variant, which was initially discovered in the United Kingdom.

  • 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.

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.

What they're saying: "The health and safety of Coloradans is our top priority and we will monitor this case, as well as all COVID-19 indicators, very closely," Polis tweeted Tuesday.

  • According to Polis’ office, the case involves a man in his 20s who has no travel history.
  • The man is currently in isolation, and public health officials are doing a “thorough investigation,” the governor’s office added.

The big picture: Dozens of countries banned travel from the U.K. after it discovered the variant.

  • Japan announced last week that it would temporarily ban non-resident foreign nationals from entering the country starting on Dec. 28 after it discovered its first case of the new variant.

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

Go deeper

Updated Jan 15, 2021 - Health

The coronavirus variants: What you need to know

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New variants of the coronavirus circulating globally appear to increase transmission and are being closely monitored by scientists.

Driving the news: The highly contagious variant B.1.1.7 originally detected in the U.K. could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by March if no measures are taken to control the spread of the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday.

Jan 30, 2021 - Health

Maryland reports case of South Africa coronavirus variant

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan during a press conference in Annapolis in December 2020. Photo: Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Saturday that the potentially more transmissible coronavirus variant first discovered in South Africa has been identified in the state.

Why it matters: Maryland is the second state to confirm a known case of the B.1.351 variant. Although there is no evidence that infections by this variant cause more severe disease, preliminary data indicates that it spreads faster and more easily than the original coronavirus strain, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mar 20, 2021 - Health

Fauci: U.K. variant may account for 30% of U.S. coronavirus infections

Anthony Fauci during a Senate hearing committee on March 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The coronavirus variant first discovered in the United Kingdom may account for up to 30% of new COVID infections across the U.S., NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said during a White House briefing on the virus Friday.

Why it matters: The variant, called B.1.1.7, has been detected throughout the U.S., and studies have suggested it appears to spread more easily than the original strain of the virus.