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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

AT&T mandates COVID vaccination for most unionized workers

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

AT&T expanded its COVID-19 vaccine mandate Wednesday to employees who are members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union.

Why it matters: The communications giant is one of the biggest employers in the U.S. to require frontline workers to be vaccinated against the virus. The union said it represents some 90,000 AT&T workers, per AP.

Sep 29, 2021 - Health

CDC issues urgent advisory calling on pregnant people to get COVID vaccine

Photo: Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

The CDC issued "an urgent health advisory" on Wednesday urging people who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: The CDC said it "strongly recommends" vaccination because its benefits for a pregnant person and the fetus outweigh the risks. It added that pregnant people with COVID-19 are at "increased risk" of outcomes such as preterm birth, stillbirth and admission of a newborn into the ICU.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
36 mins ago - Economy & Business

Why it's so hard to tax wealth

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The wealth tax that wasn't a wealth tax isn't even a tax, now. The Democrats had a meticulously constructed 107-page proposal to pay for a large chunk of their spending plans with a tax on billionaires, but it died ignobly on Wednesday, the same day it was unveiled.

Why it matters: The dream of a wealth tax will never die as it so neatly generates revenue by reducing inequality. But there are three main reasons why that dream is likely to remain just a dream for the foreseeable future.