State Department of Health Announces New COVID-19 Strain Identified in Indiana

The Indiana Department of Health today announced that a new strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been identified in Indiana. State health officials say the strain, which was identified through testing at the Department of Health laboratory and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the same one identified in the United Kingdom last fall. Health officials say it does not cause more severe infections but is much more easily spread.

“It’s common for viruses to mutate, and we are seeing that occur with COVID-19,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “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, go to https://ourshot.in.gov .
Nearly 194,000 Hoosiers have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 24,000 have received both doses and are fully vaccinated. The Indiana Department of Health has created a vaccine dashboard that will show the latest number of vaccines administered. The dashboard will be updated daily beginning today.