NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The mutant U.K. COVID strain has been found in two New York City residents, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday as he said the city was on track to "run out of" the vaccine next week.
“This is information that’s just come forward… The state of New York has reported across the state 12 new cases of the coronavirus with the variant from the United Kingdom present. Two of those cases are New York City residents. One of whom traveled to the United Kingdom,” de Blasio said.
The mayor said the individuals are being followed up with and supported by the Test and Trace Corps.
The U.K. strain is believed to be more contagious but not more deadly, officials have said.
"We'll keep people updated as we have more information," de Blasio said.
Other cases of the U.K. variant have been found Upstate. At least one has been found in a Nassau County man.
On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were a total of 12 cases of the U.K. variant statewide. It appears de Blasio was saying the two cases found in New York City residents were part of the total 12 cases in the state confirmed Tuesday. There are over 80 cases of the variant nationwide.
De Blasio renewed calls for an "immediate travel ban from the United Kingdom to the United States" by the federal government.
"Here's proof positive. Someone who was in the U.K. has brought the variant back here. We need that stopped," the mayor said.
At his briefing, de Blasio also warned that the city is on the brink of running out of the COVID vaccine.
“As we have set up this system and finally won the battle for the freedom to vaccinate New Yorkers, the inevitable has happened,” de Blasio said. “Tens of thousands of folks have come forward wanting the vaccine, rightfully, and we’re going to provide it to them over the next few weeks, and then we’re going to run out of vaccine.”
“I confirmed with our health care team yesterday that even with normal supplies that we expect to have delivered next week, we will run out of the vaccine at some point next week unless we get a major new resupply,” he said. “Because so many New Yorkers want the vaccine, and we have the ability to give it to them.”
De Blasio said the federal and state governments, as well as manufacturers, need to “step up and get us more supply immediately.”
“Release everything you can give us. We need it. And we need to speed up this system going forward,” the mayor said.