Virus variants drive new surge in COVID-19 cases across NJ

‘We are seeing a very scary and surprising increase in variants’

A spike in coronavirus variants — especially the UK strain known as B117 — is driving a new surge in caseloads across New Jersey, health officials say. A quick screening test developed at Rutgers University shows that almost half the new cases of COVID-19 in Newark are caused by the UK variant, and University Hospital’s CEO Dr. Shereef Elnahal suspects that’s why younger COVID-19 patients are now being admitted there.

New Jersey is striving to ramp up genome sequencing to better track the spread of variants statewide and could implement the new Rutgers quick-screening test within weeks.

WATCH: Infectious disease specialist on expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

MORE: COVID-19 variants help drive NJ infection rate to highest in nation

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