Officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Sunday, there were 699 cases of variants of the novel coronavirus confirmed in the U.S. All but nine of them were the U.K. variant, they said. The U.K. or British variant is technically known as the B.1.1.7 variant.
Georgia Public Health Commissioner Kathleen Toomey said the British variant is likely widespread in Georgia already.
The 37 confirmed cases is a fraction of the true statewide figure. Unlike some other countries, the U.S. is not set up to do enough of the testing that finds variants, called gene sequencing.
Georgia reported more than 23,000 cases of the coronavirus confirmed for the seven days ended on Saturday. For the week prior to that, Georgia reported nearly 33,000 confirmed cases. Georgia is only doing gene sequencing on about 200 a week of those tests.
“Just because the variant has not been identified in a particular city or county does not mean it is not there,” Nydam said.
Here is the breakdown of state-reported U.K. variant cases by county, as of Monday:
AJC reporters Helena Oliviero, Eric Stirgus and J. Scott Trubey contributed to this article.