COVID-19: Tracking Variants

Scientists at the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene and other laboratory partners sequence and track the variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why track SARS-CoV-2 variants?

  • To understand which strains are spreading in our state and make up the largest proportion of new cases.
  • Variants can be more infectious and spread more quickly than the original strain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies these as variants of concern.
  • To understand how common the new strains are in our communities, not to have a real-time number of cases that are tied to each strain.

The Omicron variant is the predominant strain among new COVID-19 cases nationwide.

On December 20, 2021, the CDC announced that the Omicron variant is now the dominant strain among new COVID-19 cases. The best way to protect yourself, your family, and your community from COVID-19 and the Omicron variant is to get vaccinated.




What are variants of SARS-CoV-2? 

Learn how variants of SARS-CoV-2 occur and how they are classified by public health. 


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Last Revised: January 4, 2022

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