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Gov. Newsom confirms 1st cases of South Africa COVID-19 variant in California

Two cases of the South African variant of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Bay Area, Governor Newsom confirmed Wednesday.
Credit: KFMB

CALIFORNIA, USA — Governor Gavin Newsom said at a news conference Wednesday that California has confirmed the first cases in the state of a COVID-19 variant first discovered in South Africa. The two cases of the variant were confirmed in the Bay Area -- in Alameda and Santa Clara counties. There are 159 confirmed cases in the state of the variant discovered in the United Kingdom.

On Tuesday, Newsom said California is taking steps to get more COVID-19 vaccines to all parts of the state and people of all income levels.

"The administration will be phasing in direct allocations of the vaccines to community health clinics. Directly putting allocations into that clinic network all throughout the state of California, which will also advance the cause of equity in terms of the distribution," Newsom said.

On Monday, Newsom joined San Diego leaders for his daily COVID-19 update on the infield at the Petco Park Vaccination Super Station, one of the many locations administering COVID-19 vaccinations in communities across the state, during which he said San Diego "inspired others all throughout the state of California" with its vaccination super station, where about one-third of all county residents who have been vaccinated received their doses, according to officials.

Newsom said the state is trying to "address the underserved and under-resourced in a very strategic way" and said the only limiting factor is the supply of the vaccine.

"So I appreciate that we want to open up to everybody in the state. We're trying to geographically place these sites in a way that can address the underserved and under-resourced in a very strategic way. And we're just starting that process at a different scale and pace. Again, the only limiting factor is going to be supply," Newsom said.

Overall, California has administered 4.7 million vaccine doses. But only about 800,000 of the state's nearly 40 million people have received both doses.

As vaccinations lag, virus cases and hospitalizations are falling rapidly.