State health officials push vaccine as virus cases tick up

State health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box, seen in this April 2020 file photo with Gov. Eric Holcomb, on Friday said more outbreaks are expected, especially in areas with low vaccination rates. 

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s top health officials warned Friday that spread of an especially contagious coronavirus variant is “significantly increasing” across the state, with more than half of the population still unvaccinated.

Indiana’s COVID-19 positivity rate, which had dropped to 2.1 percent in late June, is back up to 3.2 percent, state health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said during a news conference Friday. While new deaths remain at the lowest levels since early in the pandemic, the state is recording an uptick in hospitalizations.

Casey Smith is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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