A second case of a new coronavirus variant has been detected in Wisconsin, according to the state Department of Health Services. Dr. Ryan Westergaard, the state’s chief medical officer, said this could be the tip of the iceberg.

“It’s likely that there are other cases that have not been detected,” Westergaard said. “What we’ve heard from other states that have detected a larger number is that a substantial number of them have not had international travel. So that is evidence that there is community spread of these novel variants.”

The latest case of the so-called UK variant confirmed in Waukesha County follows an earlier case in Eau Claire County last month.

Westergaard said the best way to prevent spread of “all” COVID-19 variants is to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing, as well as getting more people vaccinated. “We need to do all the things that we know how to do to prevent the spread of all COVID-19, and that’s the only way to minimize the community spread of novel variant. It’s also the way to prevent the spread of new variants.”

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