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During virus infection B cells are critical for the production of antibodies and protective immunity. Here we show that the human B cell compartment in patients with diagnostically confirmed SARS-CoV-2 and clinical COVID-19 is rapidly altered with the early recruitment of B cells expressing a limited subset of IGHV genes, progressing to a highly polyclonal response of B cells with broader IGHV gene usage and extensive class switching to IgG and IgA subclasses with limited somatic hypermutation in the initial weeks of infection. We identify extensive convergence of antibody sequences across SARS-CoV-2 patients, highlighting stereotyped naïve responses to this virus. Notably, sequence-based detection in COVID-19 patients of convergent B cell clonotypes previously reported in SARS-CoV infection predicts the presence of SARS-CoV/SARS-CoV-2 cross-reactive antibody titers specific for the receptor-binding domain. These findings offer molecular insights into shared features of human B cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 and other zoonotic spillover coronaviruses. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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