- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 11, 2021

The two coronavirus variants that originated in the United Kingdom and South Africa have been detected for the first time in the District of Columbia, the city’s top health official said Thursday.

D.C. Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt said during a press conference that three cases of the U.K. strain and one case of the South African strain have been confirmed.

“[T]his was a matter of not if but when, given that both of these variants have already been detected in Maryland and Virginia, and we have very porous borders,” Dr. Nesbitt said. “So this is not surprising to D.C. Health, but just another opportunity to remind us to be very cautious about our behavior and our actions here in the National Capital Region.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the four cases to city officials Wednesday night.

Health department data as of Thursday show 38,533 cases and 973 deaths have been confirmed in the city of more than 700,000 residents.

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