RICHMOND, Va. -- Health officials in Virginia have reported the first cases in the state of a highly contagious coronavirus variant that first emerged in California last summer.
The discovery of the two California variants in Virginia means there have been a total of four variants found in the state, including variants first discovered in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
The Virginia Department of Health said in a news release that the California variants are associated with increased person-to-person transmission of COVID-19.
State health officials said there is no evidence at this time that infections with the variants cause more severe disease.
In total, state health officials have reported 176 cases of coronavirus variants in Virginia.