The first case of the COVID-19 virus variant from the United Kingdom has been identified in New York State, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday afternoon.

A man in his 60s affiliated with a jewelry store in Saratoga County contracted the new, highly contagious variant of the coronavirus, according to the governor.

"He was symptomatic but he is on the mend and he is doing better," Cuomo said in a press call Monday.

The man had not traveled recently, suggesting the variant had infected him via community spread.

Three other people in the jewelry store testing positive for COVID-19. The Wadsworth lab in Albany—tasked with testing for the variant—is now analyzing those samples to determine whether they contracted the virus variant.

The jewelry store, N. Fox Jewelers in Saratoga Springs, had closed December 24th. But Cuomo says the state wants anyone who visited between December 18th and 24th to get a COVID-19 test.

The virus variant first began spreading in the UK, and health officials there discovered the virus was 70% more transmissible. Though experts say the new version of the virus is not more deadly or resistant to the current vaccines, state health officials are concerned a more contagious version could cause more COVID-19 hospitalizations and overwhelm hospitals.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said the rising number of cases in the state and across the country is "probably reflective" of the virus variant spreading, though until now it had not been identified here in NY.

"The increased hospitalization rate is a game changer," Cuomo added. "If a hospital capacity is threatened in a region, then that region would have to close down."

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed England under stricter lockdown measures on Monday, including school closures, as the virus surged.