NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Two cases of the B117 variant strain of the COVID-19 virus has been identified in Tennessee and confirmed by the CDC, the Department of Health confirmed on Thursday.

“To date, two cases of the B117 variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 have been identified in Tennessee and confirmed by the CDC, placing Tennessee among more than 20 U.S. states reporting COVID-19 cases caused by variants,” the Department of Health said in a statement. “Viruses constantly change and new variants are expected to occur over time. This does not change our response to COVID-19 in Tennessee, but serves as a reminder of the need for continued vigilance and practice of simple actions we can all take to prevent further spread of COVID-1: wash hands frequently, limit gatherings, maintain social distance, wear a mask in public and get vaccinated when you qualify to do so.”

In an earlier report, the Tennessee Department of Health reported five cases had been reported in the state.

Within the first week of 2021, at least 56 cases of the coronavirus variant had been identified in the United States.

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