INDIANA (WFIE) - The newest strain of COVID-19 has made its way to the Hoosier state.
The Indiana State Department of Health made that announcement Monday.
Officials say this strain is the same one discovered in the United Kingdom.
Health experts say it is common for viruses to mutate, similar to what we’ve experienced with influenza.
Local doctors say it’s very likely the strain had actually been in Indiana for several weeks.
“Good news is that it seems that this new variant is maybe a little more contagious, but not nearly as deadly. And that’s kind of typical of what we see in any type of pandemic, is that the virus that is able to transmit and carry on is that virus that doesn’t make people quite so sick,” said Dr. Gina Huhke with the Deaconess Health System.
Dr. Huhke also says that based on research, our current vaccines are just as effective against this second strain as the original.
She says our safety measures like wearing masks and staying socially distant can help slow the spread.
The Indiana State Department of Health reports 3,726 new coronavirus cases and 30 additional deaths Monday.
The Hoosier state now has 567,338 total confirmed cases and 8,643 total deaths.
According to the state map, there was one new COVID-19 related death in Dubois County.
The map shows 147 new cases in Vanderburgh County, 55 new cases in Warrick County, 45 new cases in Gibson County, 26 new cases in Dubois County, 18 new cases in Perry County, 15 new cases in Spencer County, 14 new cases in Posey County, and there are 10 new cases in Pike County.
Here are the coronavirus totals in our part of Indiana.
- Vanderburgh Co. - 17,686 cases, 207 deaths
- Dubois Co. - 5,218 cases, 69 deaths
- Warrick Co. - 6,051 cases, 90 deaths
- Perry Co. - 1,382 cases, 26 deaths
- Posey Co. - 2,192 cases, 26 deaths
- Gibson Co. - 3,391 cases, 55 deaths
- Spencer Co. - 1,731 cases, 17 deaths
- Pike Co. - 1,061 cases, 26 deaths