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South African Coronavirus Variant Detected in U.S. for First Time

HeadlineJan 29, 2021

The United States reported another 4,000 deaths from COVID-19 Thursday as a fast-spreading coronavirus variant first seen in South Africa was detected in the U.S. for the first time, with two cases in South Carolina. Daily U.S. infections have been on the decline after shattering world records earlier this month, but remain at extremely high levels of about 150,000 per day. Disease experts worry new variants — coupled with fatigue over masks and social distancing — could lead to another surge in cases.

Here in New York, Attorney General Letitia James said Thursday that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration undercounted COVID-19 deaths at nursing homes by as much as 50%. Just hours after James’s announcement, New York Health Department officials added nearly 4,000 nursing home deaths to the state’s tally.

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