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Getting Answers: Questions about the U.K. COVID-19 variant in Arizona

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TUCSON (KVOA) - The Arizona Department of Health Services reported the first three cases of the U.K. COVID-19 variant in Arizona last Friday.

Many viewers sent News 4 Tucson messages asking what this means for Pima County and if there could be another wave of cases with this variant.

During a news briefing on Tuesday, Pima County Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francisco Garcia said that viruses mutate and change over a period of time so this new COVID-19 variant is not a surprise.

"Even though it does appear to be a more transmissible variant that is more easily passed from person to person, the kinds of things I am going to ask you that I am going to ask myself and the rest of our community to do are no different in terms of basic mitigation," he said.

Those basic mitigation strategies include wearing a mask, washing your hands frequently, no large gatherings and staying home when sick.

Dr. Garcia said that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are effective against this variant and that there have been no reports of the U.K. COVID-19 variant in Pima County.

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Priscilla Casper

Priscilla Casper is an anchor and multi-skilled journalist for News 4 Tucson. She anchors weekdays at noon and 5 p.m.

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