More than half of newly sequenced COVID-19 specimens are UK variant

More than half of newly sequenced COVID-19 specimens are UK variant

More than half of Wisconsin COVID-19 specimens sequenced in the past week have been a more contagious variant that emerged in the United Kingdom last year.

Laboratories have sequenced 10,959 COVID-19 specimens as of Thursday, up 363 from last week.

Of those newly reported, about 63 percent, or 229, were variants of concern. That includes:

  • 189 more cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, which was discovered in England in November, for a total of 707.
  • 30 more cases of the B.1.427/B.1.429 variants, which were discovered in California last May, for a total of 394.
  • 10 more cases of the P.1. variant, which was discovered among travelers from Brazil after arriving in Japan in January, for a total of 30.

The number of cases of the B.1.351 variant, which was discovered in South Africa in October, remained the same at 28.

Wisconsin vaccinators administered 4,363,653 doses of COVID-19 vaccine through Wednesday.

They gave 42,399 doses on Wednesday, with a seven-day average of 37,984 daily shots.

Per state data, 42.8 percent of the state’s population, or 2,492,262 Wisconsinites, have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 33.1. percent, or 1,929,913 Wisconsinites, have completed their vaccination series.

The Department of Health Services reported 806 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, for a total of 597,358.

The state’s death toll is at 6,815, after DHS reported eight new deaths.

An additional 5,545 Wisconsinites have been tested for COVID-19, for a total of 3,440,201.

DHS considers 9,079 cases active.

The seven-day average for daily new cases is 623, up 11 from Wednesday and down 18 from a week ago.

The seven-day average for daily new deaths is 13, up one from Wednesday and nine from a week ago.

As of Wednesday, the seven-day positivity rate by test was 3.2 percent, the same as Tuesday and a week earlier, per preliminary data from DHS.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association reported 329 COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Thursday, down 13 from Wednesday and 17 from a week ago. Ninety-three were in intensive care units, down 14 from Wednesday and 23 from a week ago.

STAY INFORMED ON THE STATE’S MOST PRESSING HEALTHCARE ISSUES AND INITIATIVES.

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