The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, is still projected to become the dominant variant in the United States by the end of this month or early April, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a White House briefing on Monday.
"Our current models still project that by end of March, early April, B.1.1.7 will be the dominant variant," Walensky said.
At least 4,858 cases of coronavirus variants first spotted in the UK, South Africa and Brazil have been reported in the United States, according to data updated Sunday by the CDC.
Most of these cases, 4,690, are the more contagious variant known as B.1.1.7. This variant has been found in 48 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, DC. Walensky said on Monday that "in some states, Florida and California, it's up to 25%, and in other states it's lower."
CDC says this does not represent the total number of such cases circulating in the US, but rather just those that have been found by analyzing positive samples. The agency cautions that its numbers may not immediately match those of state and local health departments.