EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - Eau Claire County was the first in Wisconsin to report a new strain of COVID-19 and now more cases are emerging here.
The first strain in the county was found just over one month ago. It was first widely discovered in England in late 2020.
On Tuesday, two new cases of the variant were reported in Eau Claire County. According to the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, the two new cases are people not related to each other nor to the first variant case in the county. One person is a teenager and the other is a person in their 50s. Neither person was hospitalized.
"We don't test every case of COVID-19 for a variant strain in Wisconsin or any other state," said Health Director Lieske Giese. "We should assume, and across the state assume that we have variant COVID-19, and it's not just in Eau Claire."
The health department reports these two people have no travel history or connection to people who have traveled internationally. The two people also only came in contact with people in their own homes while contagious, according to the health department.
"With emerging mutations of this virus, including those that may be more infectious, it is critically important to follow best public health practices, including wearing a mask, staying home, maintaining physical distance, washing hands frequently, and getting vaccinated when you become eligible,” said Giese. “Slowing the spread of this virus can prevent it from replicating and mutating further.”
There have only been five variant cases detected in Wisconsin and three of them have been in Eau Claire County. There has been one additional case in both Waukesha County and Milwaukee County. Giese adds even though three of the five confirmed variant cases have been in Eau Claire County, it is likely that community spread of the variant is occurring statewide.