Genetic variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have become of great interest worldwide because they have the potential to detrimentally alter the course of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and disease in individual patients . We recently sequenced 20,453 SARS-CoV-2 genomes from patients with COVID-19 disease in metropolitan Houston (population 7 million), dating from March 2020 to early February 2021 . We discovered that all major variants of concern or interest are circulating in the region . To follow up on this discovery, we analyzed 8,857 genome sequences from patients in eight Houston Methodist hospitals dispersed throughout the metroplex diagnosed from January 1 , 2021 to March 7 , 2021 . This sample represents 94% of Houston Methodist cases and 4.8% of all reported cases in metropolitan Houston during this period . We discovered rapid, widespread, and preferential increase of the SARS-CoV-2 UK B.1.1.7 throughout the region . The estimated case doubling time in the Houston area is 6.9 days . None of the 648 UK B.1.1.7 samples identified had the E484K change in spike protein that can cause decreased recognition by antibodies.