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Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

A New York resident with no known travel history has tested positive for the coronavirus variant spreading rapidly in the United Kingdom, Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed Monday.

Why it matters: New York is the fourth state to confirm a case of the variant, which is believed to be at least 50% more contagious. Colorado, California and Florida have also reported cases.

  • The individual who tested positive for the variant is from Saratoga County, Cuomo said.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that while the variant has increased transmissibility "there is no evidence to suggest that the variant has any impact on the severity of disease or vaccine efficacy."
  • 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 the new variant could be up to 70% more transmissible.

The big picture: If the variant is more contagious, that means more are people getting sick, a certain portion of which will require care from the already strained health care system, Axios' Caitlin Owens notes.

  • That increased burden in itself could become more deadly, as patients receive a reduced quality of care.

By the numbers: Over the weekend, New York became the fourth state to top 1 million cases, per Johns Hopkins University data.

  • There are currently more than 8,251 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, Cuomo said Monday.

Go deeper: America's vaccine rollout: What went wrong

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
19 hours ago - Health

The most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information

Data: KFF; Chart: Axios Visuals

Hispanic, Black and lower-income Americans are more likely than white and higher-income Americans to say they don't have enough information about when or where they'll be able to get a coronavirus vaccine, according to new KFF polling.

Why it matters: This further suggests that vaccinating the most vulnerable Americans will be an uphill battle.

People of color disadvantaged in coronavirus vaccine effort

Expand chart
Data: GoodRx, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Communities of color tend to have fewer pharmacies per capita, putting them at a disadvantage in the coronavirus vaccination effort.

Why it matters: If racial disparities aren't addressed in the vaccination effort, including by setting up alternative vaccine sites, communities of color will fall even further behind in a pandemic that has already highlighted deep structural racism within the health care system.

Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategy

Biden signs executive orders on Jan. 21. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

"It's gonna get worse before it gets better": President Biden expects 100,000 Americans to die from COVID-19 during his first six weeks in office.

The big picture: Biden said he's putting America on a wartime footing against the virus, signing 10 executive orders today alone.