Number of COVID-19 variants first detected in U.K. soars in Wis.

UW-Madison professor says rising case numbers are not a reason to panic.
UW-Madison professor says rising case numbers are not a reason to panic.(WMTV)
Published: May. 6, 2021 at 3:06 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Over 1,300 cases of the COVID-19 variant originally found circulating in the United Kingdom has been discovered in Wisconsin to date, state health officials report Thursday.

There have been 1,341 cases of variant B.1.1.7 found in Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services’ COVID-19 dashboard shows, which is up from the 707 that were reported last week.

DHS also reports 119 new cases of variants B.1.427/B.1.429, which were first discovered in California, as well as 34 new cases of variant P.1, which was first noticed in travelers from Brazil. There were also 12 additional cases of variant B.1.351 discovered this week, which is the variant first found in South Africa.


These new variants are out of the 1,095 tests conducted in the past week of COVID-19 specimen.

Researchers say all of these variant strains are more easily transmissible and spread more rapidly than the original strain of COVID-19.

DHS also shared that of the variants in south central Wisconsin, variant B.1.1.7 is the most common in the region after appearing in nearly 6% tested cases. In all cases tested in this region, just under 10% came back as variants.

Compared to the state as a whole, 16.2% of the more than 12,000 cases tested for variants came back as such.

The state confirmed 667 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases ever reported up to 601,603. The seven-day average has continued to fall, now hitting 606.

There were also 68 people hospitalized for the virus, as 14 people have died Thursday. There have been 6,877 Wisconsinites who have died from COVID-19.

Vaccinations fall amid all providers

DHS’ COVID-19 vaccine provider data illustration notes that the number of vaccine doses administered is falling among all provider types.

The providers listed by DHS include Health Care Providers, Pharmacies, community-based vaccination clinics, local and tribal health departments and other. Each of these groups seemed to peak during the week of April 6-13. Health care providers had administered the most vaccines, at 150,055 doses. During the latest week of vaccinations, 85,172 vaccines were given out.

Nearly 44% of Wisconsinites have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, while 35.8% of residents have already completed their vaccine series.

There have been 76,585 doses administered so far this week, which is just over the total number of vaccinations administered during the fourth week of the vaccine rollout in Wisconsin.

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