New COVID variant in Wisconsin, officials tracking more than two dozen cases

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is tracking a new variant of COVID-19 with more than two dozen cases in the state.

The Delta strain has been elevated to a "variant of concern" in Wisconsin. The strain is fueling the coronavirus surge in the United Kingdom and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is more contagious and more resistant to vaccines.

DHA said the vaccines currently available in the U.S. have been shown to provide some protection against the Delta strain, the State Journal reported.

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

Since April, 26 cases of the Delta variant have been identified in Wisconsin. Timberlake said an increasing proportion of COVID-19 cases in the state are variants of concern.

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Health officials said the state will begin reporting case counts of the Delta strain beginning Thursday. The department is also tracking five other variants of concern in the state.