Nineteen new cases have been found in Massachusetts of a mutant form of the virus that causes COVID-19, but none of them in Berkshire County, the state Department of Public Health said Sunday.
Those cases add to 10 other cases in the state already linked to the variant first identified in the United Kingdom. The British variant is a concern because it has been found to spread more easily, leading to outbreaks in Florida and California, the DPH said.
Neither of two other known variants, one found in South Africa and another in Brazil, have been confirmed in Massachusetts.
Of the 29 cases identified Massachusetts so far, only four have been associated with travel. That means most of the infections are the result of community transmission, the DPH said.
Of the 19 new cases, most were identified in Worcester County (14), with three cases in Norfolk County and two in Middlesex County.
The westernmost infection linked to the British variant reported by the DPH concerns a man in his 20s in Hampden County. That case was among the first group of the mutant form — known as B.1.1.7 — reported by the DPH since Jan. 17.
In all, there have been 17 cases of the British variant in Worcester County, one in Hampden County, two in Middlesex County, six in Norfolk County, two in Plymouth County and one in Suffolk County.
The youngest person affected was 4 years old and the oldest nearly 70. They include 16 males and 13 females.