Nebraska health officials say an extremely contagious variant of COVID-19 that was first identified in India has been confirmed in the state.
The first case of the virus variant, officially known as B.1.617, was found in a Lancaster County resident who has ties to international travelers.
The discovery of the new variant comes as the state was reporting a relatively small number of new cases of the virus.
Nebraska Health and Human Services said Wednesday that 1,368 new virus cases had been reported over the past week, down slightly from 1,397 cases the week before.
The agency’s Friday report added another 88 new cases of COVID-19 with 124 hospitalizations and no deaths. There have been 222,335 total cases and 2,257 deaths since the start of the pandemic
Nebraska has distributed nearly 1,580,000 doses of vaccine with 59% of the adult population having at least one shot and almost 760,000 individuals or 51,2% of all adults now fully vaccinated.