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DHS identifies Delta COVID-19 variant cases in Wisconsin

These variants are known to spread more easily than the original COVID-19 strain, but it’s not...
These variants are known to spread more easily than the original COVID-19 strain, but it’s not yet clear how.(CNN)
Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 2:21 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Delta COVID-19 variant has officially been identified in Wisconsin, state health officials report Wednesday.

Twenty-six cases of the latest variant of concern, originally found circulating in India, have been identified since April.

The Department of Health Services says that these numbers will begin showing up on their COVID-19 variant dashboard on Thursday, which is the usual day DHS updates its numbers for variants.

Health officials have attributed the Delta variant as the cause of the recent rise in cases in the United Kingdom.

Officials believe the Delta variant spreads more rapidly than the original strain of COVID-19, similar to other variant strains identified. Scientists do not have enough information yet to determine if the Delta variant has any impact on disease severity.

DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake explained the state has continued to track the increasing proportion of COVID-19 cases across the state that are variants of concern.

“We urge Wisconsinites to protect themselves, their families, and their communities by getting vaccinated,” said Timberlake. “The sooner people get vaccinated against COVID-19, the less opportunity for the virus to keep mutating.”

Health officials did have some reassuring news though, stating that studies have shown the COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. provide some protection against that variant. DHS urged residents to get their COVID-19 vaccination if they haven’t already.

So far in the state, 49.2% of residents have received at least their first COVID-19 vaccine and 44.6% have completed their vaccine series.

The seven-day rolling average for new COVID-19 cases has fallen below 100 Wednesday for the first time since last March, DHS also indicates. The seven-day rolling average is currently at 90 cases as 45 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed Friday.

DHS also confirmed four people have died from the virus, bringing the total number of deaths in the state up to 7,230.

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