TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The head of the state health department says Kansas is likely to have pockets of a new, more coronavirus variant first identified in the United Kingdom and public health officials believe it could become the state’s dominant strain.

Dr. Lee Norman also said Tuesday that winter weather across the central and eastern U.S. has created a “brief speed bump” in the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Public health officials said the emergence of the coronavirus variant means people can’t let their guard down about wearing masks, social distancing, and taking other precautions.

Norman said the first case in Ellis County and the second in Sedgwick County are not connected.