‘Variants of concern’ made up majority of L.A. County coronavirus samples tested this past week

A majority of Los Angeles County coronavirus samples analyzed this past week were “variants of concern,” public health officials said Wednesday.

The finding means there’s likely an uptick in variants circulating throughout the county, which could mean increased transmissibility and potentially more severe illness. Variants may also evade antibodies generated by COVID-19 vaccines, a study found.

Among the 73 specimens that were analyzed in labs this past week, the county’s public health department found that 63% of them were variants of concern:

25 cases, or 34%, were the California variant of concern, also known as the B.1.427/B.1.429
21 cases, or 29%, were the U.K. variant of concern, also known as B.1.1.7