The virus has mutated. But that doesn’t mean it’s getting deadlier.
At this point in the pandemic, coronavirus genomes with 10 or fewer mutations are common, and only a small number have over 20 mutations — which is still less than a tenth of a percent of the genome.
Over time, viruses can evolve into new strains — in other words, viral lineages that are significantly different from each other. Since January, researchers have sequenced many thousands of SARS-CoV-2 genomes and tracked all the mutations that have arisen. So far, they haven’t found compelling evidence that the mutations have had a significant change in how the virus affects us.