**FILE** Courtesy of Virginia Department of Health via Twitter

Virginia health officials said two new coronavirus variants first found in California have now emerged in the state.

The first cases of the variants B.1.427 and B.1.429 were found in samples from state residents in December and February, the health department said Thursday.

A spokesperson from the state health department said the new variants are now “circulating throughout the commonwealth in all health regions,” local news station WAVY-TV reported.

The two variants, first discovered in California last summer, are among several new strains of the virus that have emerged over the course of the pandemic. Though some of the newer mutations are thought to transmit easier than the original strain, there is currently no evidence that the California variants are more potent.

Health officials advise Virginians to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and washing hands frequently.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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