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Growing evidence on higher transmissibility of novel variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is raising alarm in many countries. We provide an early assessment of population-level effects from confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOC) on 7-day incidence rates in 401 German cities and regions. Estimates reveal that the 204 cities and regions with at least one confirmed VOC case by February 4, 2021 have, on average, a 15% higher 7-day incidence rate after VOC emergence compared todoi:10.1101/2021.02.16.21251803 fatcat:oqo4ymiobzfdxntqcqumkqfeeu