A 67-year old employee of Saratoga Springs’ N. Fox Jewelers has contracted a highly contagious variant strain of covid-19.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo reported yesterday that the Wadsworth Lab in Albany had confirmed the case of the UK variant strain of the virus, known as B.1.1.7.
It is the first time the variant has been found in New York State, sparking concerns that it could lead to a wave of cases similar to in the UK, which is now seeing around one in one hundred people infected with the new strain, particularly in London.
N. Fox Jewelers is the only Rolex authorized dealer in Saratoga Springs, a town of around 30,000 people in upstate New York.
Mr Cuomo said that three other N. Fox Jewelers employees had tested positive for coronavirus, but it is unknown whether they had contracted the more transmissable variant strain.
“The Wadsworth lab confirmed a case of the UK strain in Saratoga County, New York. It’s a gentleman who is in his 60s. He was symptomatic, but he is on the mend and he’s doing better. He did not travel recently, so this suggests that it’s in the community, it was community spread as opposed to having traveled to the UK,” says Mr Cuomo.
Authorities are urging any customers who visited the jeweler ahead of Christmas to get tested for covid. “If you went to the N. Fox Jewelers store in Saratoga Springs from December 18th through December 24th you should contact us and get a test immediately. From a public health point of view now it’s about contact tracing, and this UK strain is reported to be 70 percent more contagious than the normal covid strain. So, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to do effective contact tracing on this case,” Mr Cuomo insists.