A spike in COVID-19 has occurred in Southern California since October 2020. Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 in Southern California prior to October indicated most isolates originated from clade 20C that likely emerged from New York via Europe early in the pandemic.1 Since then, novel variants of SARS-CoV-2 including those seen in the UK (20I/501Y.V1/B.1.1.7), South Africa (20H/501Y.V2/B.1.351), and Brazil (P.1/20J/501Y.V3/B.1.1.248) have emerged, with the concern of increased infectivity and virulence.2,3 Thus, we analyzed variants of SARS-CoV-2 in Southern California to establish whether one of these known strains or a novel variant had emerged.
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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Accepted for Publication: February 1, 2021.
Published Online: February 11, 2021. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.1612
Corresponding Author: Jasmine T. Plummer, PhD, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, 8700 Beverly Blvd, SSB365, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (email@example.com).
Author Contributions: Drs Plummer and Vail had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Drs Plummer and Vail codirected the study.
Concept and design: Zhang, Plummer, Vail.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: Plummer, Vail.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: Zhang, Vail.
Obtained funding: Plummer, Vail.
Administrative, technical, or material support: Davis, Chen, Sincuir Martinez, Plummer, Vail.
Supervision: Plummer, Vail.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Vail reported receiving personal fees from Illumina outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.
Funding/Support: This project was funded by an internal grant to Dr Plummer provided by the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Role of the Funder/Sponsor: The funder had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Additional Contributions: We thank Yizhou Wang, PhD, Applied Genomics, Computational and Translational Core, for demultiplexing files and Jeffrey Golden, MD, Burns and Allen Research Institute, for assistance with editing. Neither received compensation.
Additional Information: Data used in this study have been deposited to GISAID with accession ESP_ISL_824555-824741.
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