New strain of COVID-19 found in Indiana

New strain of COVID-19 found in Indiana
(Source: Live 5/File)

INDIANAPOLIS (FOX19) - The Indiana State Department of Health says a new strain of COVID-19 that is more easily spread has now been identified in the Hoosier state.

The strain is the same one that was found in Britain. Health officials say it does not cause more severe infections.

“It’s common for viruses to mutate, and we are seeing that occur with COVID-19,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box. “Because this strain of the virus can be transmitted more easily, it’s more important than ever that Hoosiers continue to wear their masks, practice social distancing, maintain good hygiene and get vaccinated when they are eligible.”

Hoosiers age 80 and older, along with healthcare workers and first responders, are now eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. To find an appointment, click here.

Officials with the ISDH say nearly 194,000 Hoosiers have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 24,000 have received both doses and are fully vaccinated.

To date, 567,388 Indiana residents are known to have had COVID-19, an increase of 3,726 from Sunday, according to state health data.

Of those, 8,643 are confirmed to have died, an increase of 30 from Sunday.

More than 2.7 million people in Indiana have been tested for the virus. To find a testing site in the state, click here.

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