Coronavirus variants now account for nearly 80 percent of the COVID-19 cases in the Big Apple, city health officials reported Thursday.
The home-grown New York City variant accounted for 45 percent of the samples examined between March 22 and March 28, according to the most recent report from the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The data reveals that the so-called UK variant of the virus, which is believed to be far more contagious than the original, accounted for another 30 percent of the cases.
City scientists examined the genetic makeup of virus samples collected from 1,500 cases over the seven-day period to arrive at their conclusions.
The dramatic and rapid spread of the variants may help explain why New York City’s coronavirus case levels have plateaued at such high levels after the second wave of the pandemic hit the city — even as vaccines ramp up.