The highly contagious B 1.1.7 COVID-19 variant can spread up to about 50% faster, potentially leading to a higher number of cases and hospitalizations. But if measures are taken now, it can lessen the impact. Local doctors say this will require everyone to follow these simple steps: “The three things that people need to do. We call them the three W’s: wash your hands, wear your masks and watch your distance,” said Dr. Debra Furr-Holden.