Colorado late Tuesday confirmed its first discovery of the COVID-19 variant that has been spreading across the UK and elsewhere.
A Colorado state laboratory confirmed that the first case of the new variant was a man in Elbert County who had no travel history. Local authorities said the man in his 20s was in isolation.
Authorities are working to identify potential contacts. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said the local government was "working to prevent the spread and contain the virus at all levels."
Other countries such as Japan, South Korea, Canada and Sweden have reported cases of the new strain.
As the U.S. braces for the arrival of the strain, president-elect Joe Biden said Tuesday the administration under outgoing president Donald Trump "is falling behind, far behind" in the distribution of vaccines.
Biden said his administration would ensure 100 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine would be distributed by the time he reaches his 100thday as U.S. president.
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, echoed Biden's sentiments.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than 2.1 million doses had been administered but more than 11.4 million doses had been distributed to several states.
A new study by Public Health England said the variant doesn't appear to be more severe.
The study involved 1,769 people identified with the strain and 1,769 people with what researchers referred to as the "wild-type" variant.
The study confirmed the strain was more contagious.
Meanwhile in the UK, where the first cases of the variant were detected, daily confirmed cases have been on the rise.
On Tuesday, the British government said there were 53,135 additional new confirmed cases - the highest daily increase in infections since the pandemic started.
The Office for National Statistics said cases were increasing fastest in Wales followed by Northern Ireland. London and other areas in England -all on tier 4 lockdown.
Deaths have also been rising - with 414 fatalities Tuesday.