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COVID-19 variant linked to almost half of California cases


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A community testing site in San Francisco’s Mission District has yielded some eye opening results. 

Researchers at UCSF and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub have found more than half of the positive cases discovered there in January are of a West Coast COVID-19 variant.

Most concerning though is that the variant is much easier to pass person to person in a given household.

“About a quarter of the people in a house are likely to get sick if an infected person comes in the house. With the variant, it’s more like a third,” said UCSF professor and Joe Derisi.

Derisi is also co-president of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.  He says half of those testing positive also had no symptoms, which means keeping a lid on this more transmissible variant will require doubling down on safety protocols.

In the meantime, another UCSF study on the same West Coast variant finds having it increases the “odds of being admitted to the ICU and dying.”

The study indicates suggests this variant should be “designated a variant of concern warranting urgent follow-up investigation.”

It is believed that this West Coast variant is making its way across the state, but researchers agree more study is needed. 

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