A new and more contagious variant of the coronavirus has been found in Georgia, following four other states.
The Peach State’s Department of Public Health said on Tuesday that it found the strain in an 18-year-old man with no travel history and he is currently isolating in his home. State officials are working to identify those who may have come in contact with the individual, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“The emergence of this variant in our state should be a wake-up call for all Georgians,” said DPH Commissioner Kathleen Toomey.
The announcement comes on the same day that Georgia is holding its U.S. Senate runoff elections that will determine which party controls the upper chamber.
The U.K. variant is reported to be more contagious than the standard coronavirus, but health experts say it would likely not resist the various vaccines currently being distributed.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new national lockdown for England on Monday to last until at least mid-February to halt the spread of the new variant.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced a monthlong lockdown for Scotland to mitigate the spread.
The U.K. has ramped up its vaccination program and became the first nation to start distributing the new vaccine developed by Oxford University in partnership with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
The U.K. has reported more than 2.5 million COVID-19 cases and more than 75,000 deaths attributed to the virus.