She’s been analyzing COVID cases in Connecticut for nearly a year and on Wednesday night, Yale School of Public Health Postdoctoral fellow Tara Alpert made a milestone pandemic discovery.
“I was the one who was doing the sequencing and the analysis and actually got to see those numbers pop up on my screen first,” Alpert said.
What the analysis showed: mutations in positive COVID samples, the new UK variant was here in Connecticut.
“You get really excited but you don’t know until you can finally confirm it later down the line,” Alpert said.
Alpert said it has only been about a week since her team at Yale School of Public Health has been analyzing rapid sequencing positive COVID samples from the Yale Pathology Lab to detect the variant.
According to the Department of Public Health, the two individuals both live in New Haven County and recently traveled outside Connecticut, one to Europe and one to the state of New York.
Alpert’s analysis confirmed the cases were unrelated.
“Over the next few months, definitely our plan is to continue monitoring how this variant grows or doesn’t grow," Alpert said.
Alpert said her team is not only tracking samples in Connecticut but from other states that do not have the ability to detect the new variant. Her team’s findings can be found here.
The Yale School of Public Health said the new variant is not expected to be more deadly or have any sort of significant impact on vaccine effectiveness.