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Deaconess nurse Craig Meier gets one of the first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine delivered to the Tri-State.2020...and now 2021 will go down in history- its full impact is still being written. Here is WNIN, IPBS and Side Effects complete coverage.

UK COVID-19 Variant Found in Tri-state

Local hospital officials have confirmed that the UK variant of COVID-19 has been detected in the tri-state. 

After noticing some new result patterns in local COVID-19 tests, officials at Deaconess Health microbiology labs began to suspect a new strain of the virus was spreading in the community.

They sent specimens to a lab in California, and it was confirmed. The more contagious and potentially more serious UK strain of Covid-19 is here.

Deaconess President Dr. James Porter said in a statement that he is concerned but not surprised the variant is here - citing the CDC's recent prediction that the strain will be dominant by March.

In the media release, Deaconess officials caution that, though the community has seen a dip in cases recently, other areas confirmed to have the UK strain are seeing a surge of cases and hospitalizations so now is not the time to be complacent about mask-wearing and social distancing.

The new strain is estimated to be 30-70% more contagious and potentially 30% more deadly.