NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists have identified a mutated version of the coronavirus spreading in New York. Researchers this week said the new variant first appeared in the metropolitan area in late November and has since cropped up in neighboring states. Public health experts warn it’s not clear yet how problematic the variant may be. It will take further research to understand if the variant spreads more easily or curbs the effectiveness of vaccines. Experts say that in the meantime, public health measures like social distancing and mask-wearing will reduce opportunities for the coronavirus to continue mutating and spreading.