Updated: March 23, 2021 09:13 PM
Created: March 23, 2021 03:39 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Monroe County Public Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza Tuesday announced new COVID-19 variants have been found in Monroe County.
Mendoza announced that two cases of the UK variant and a small sample of the California variant were found in Monroe County in some older cases from February.
Dr. Micheal Apostolakos with URMC says the UK variant is believed to be more infectious than the traditional variant, but not any more deadly.
Mendoza said that people do not need to take any additional precautions for now, despite the presence of the new variants, and that at this time, the presence of variants will not impact sports in Monroe County.
"The community is doing a great job of continuing to mask, social distance, keep their hands clean," Apostolakos said. "And if we keep that and get vaccinated any of the variants we've seen so far have not been able to avoid vaccination, so if we keep doing what we're doing I think we can worry less about the variants."
Both Mendoza and Apostolakos say as of right now, they aren't seeing a spike in cases or hospitalizations in the area. Click here for Monroe County's latest COVID-19 numbers.
Mendoza also said not to delay taking the vaccine, and to take whichever vaccine is available.
Click here to schedule a vaccine appointment.
The three biggest COVID-19 variants circulating globally, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are the UK variant, South African variant and Brazil variant.
The UK variant was also found in Ontario County last month. The South African and Brazil variant were both found in New York State in January, but haven't been found in the Greater Rochester area as of yet.
Apostolakos was also asked about the AstraZeneca vaccine during the briefing.
"There was some initial concern that it may have more serious side effects but the data suggests that that's not the case," Apostolakos said. "When that's available, like the other three vaccines that we currently have available, I would encourage the public to get vaccinated with the first vaccine that becomes available to them."
The announcement was made during a briefing Tuesday. You can watch it below (click here if you're on a mobile device).
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