Variant first found in South Africa now in Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — State health officials say the highly contagious variant of COVID-19 first found in South Africa, known as B.1.351, has now been found in Nebraska.

The first case of the variant was recently confirmed in a Lancaster County resident, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release Friday. News of the discovery of the variant comes as about 524,000, or just over 35% of Nebraskans, have been fully vaccinated by Friday, the agency said.

Everyone 16 and older in Nebraska is now eligible to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The state’s virus-tracking dashboard on Friday showed nearly 215,800 cases of the virus have been confirmed in the state and 2,205 people in Nebraska have died from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic last year.

 

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska decreased over the past two weeks, going from more than 381 new cases per day on March 31 to nearly 314 new cases per day on April 14, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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