The new U.K. variant of COVID-19 (B.1.1.7), which is deemed to be very contagious, has been detected in the state of Connecticut.

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Governor Ned Lamont confirmed today, January 7, that two individuals between the ages of 15 and 25 who reside in New Haven County have tested positive for this COVID variant. Both individuals traveled outside of Connecticut, one to Ireland and one to New York State. The release states both individuals developed symptoms within 3-4 days of their return.

Lamont commented on the situation saying, "As we said last week, given the speed of this new strand of the virus and its identification in several states throughout our country, we presumed it was already in our state and this informational this morning confirms that fact. This is another reason why everyone should continue taking precautions to prevent transmission of this disease, including wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing. The health of Connecticut residents remains our top priority, and our public health officials will continue to closely monitor these cases and any other developments with this contagious virus."

Both individuals were interviewed by contract tracers, and one has completed their isolation period while the other is still self-isolating until the 10 day period is up.

Health officials say while the U.K variant is widely associated with increased transmission, it is not assumed to be more deadly.

The variant has been detected so far in 27 countries and five other U.S. states, according to the release.

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