Rhode Island awarded $1.5 million to track virus mutations

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island has been awarded nearly $1.5 million in federal funding to expand efforts to track COVID-19 mutations.

The funding comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was included as part of the $1.9 trillion relief bill that President Joe Biden signed last month.

The White House recently announced that $1 billion would go to the CDC and state and local health agencies for genomic sequencing to track virus mutations.

Gov. Dan McKee said the funding comes at a crucial time.

The Rhode Island Department of Health estimates that more than half of new COVID-19 cases are caused by variants.

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