California has become the second US state to detect the new variant of COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. 

The governor made the revelation during a virtual conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Newsom said officials identified the new strain — first detected in the UK — in Southern California.

Fauci said he was “not surprised” the coronavirus strain was found in California and that it will likely appear in other states, a day after Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced that state health officials had detected the first case of a more transmissible COVID-19 variant in the state. 

“I don’t think that Californians should feel that this is something odd. This is something that’s expected,” said Fauci. 

Scientists in the UK are still studying the coronavirus variant, but while they believe it spreads 70% faster than the original virus, they do not think it produces more severe health outcomes. 

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