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Long Island Resident Tests Positive For COVID-19 Variant First Detected In South Africa

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- New York's first confirmed case of the COVID-19 variant initially discovered in South Africa has been found in a Nassau County resident in the tiny hamlet of Glen Head - which has a population of 5,000 in the Town of Oyster Bay.

The resident who tested positive never traveled to South Africa. In fact, she never left New York, CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported Monday.

"This is not a reason to freak out, but it's a reminder to continue to use common sense," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. "All of the protocols were followed, in terms of contact tracing, quarantine. The person was not hospitalized."


CBS2 learned the woman who contracted the South African variant has quarantined and is recovering since testing positive two weeks ago.

Local shopkeepers say they are keeping calm, but focused.

"A setback. Hopefully it's just an isolated case," said Frank Clara, who owns a pizzeria in Glen Head.

"As long as he or she quarantines, I think we are in a better place," said Steve Yagudayev, who runs a barbershop.

"It's still very dangerous. We don't know if it's actually going to get worse," said Antonio Guardabo, a deli worker.


Dr. Anthony Fauci cautions against complacency since these variants may spread more rapidly and be less responsive to vaccine.

"Not trying to scare people. I'm saying we've got to be prepared that variables are there and we could get another surge," Fauci said.

The variant spread comes on the heels of the news from Jones Beach, where a small number of vaccines given out on Feb. 15 were ineffective because they were stored at the wrong temperature.

New York's health department said 1,379 doses were administered that day at Jones Beach. Of those, 81 were deemed ineffective due to temperature fluctuations during transport.

There is no health risk and appointments are being rescheduled.

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