By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The COVID-19 variant that was first detected in the United Kingdom has reached Wisconsin, health officials report.

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health said that the variant B.1.1.7, which was first discovered circulating in England late last year, is currently spreading in Wisconsin.

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The U.K. variant has been reported to be more contagious, more easily spread from person to person. However, health officials reiterated that it is not believed to be more serious. It is also not, at this point, shown to be resistant to the COVID vaccines currently in distribution.

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The state of Minnesota confirmed that it had at least five cases of the new variant on Saturday. The cases ranged in age from 15 to 37 years old, and their illness onsets ranged from Dec. 15 through New Year’s Eve. None of the cases required hospitalization, the health department reported.

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