What does it mean that the Hawai‘i Department of Health’s State Laboratories Division (SLD) found a new strain of COVID-19 in Hawai‘i? Viruses change (mutate) over time. These mutated versions of the virus can survive and spread in a community, affecting treatment and prevention.

Hawai‘i State Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char calls us all to action, “The more the virus is able to infect people, the more opportunity it has to mutate, so it behooves us to prevent infections. We all know that is done by wearing masks, maintaining physical distance, avoiding large gatherings, and getting vaccinated when it is our turn.”