An uptick in COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin this week is likely connected to the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus and reinforces the need for unvaccinated residents to get inoculated, according to state health officials.
“They are at risk if the Delta variant takes hold, which it likely will,” said Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary of the state Department of Health Services.
Nearly 51% of people statewide have received at least one dose of the vaccine and about 48% statewide are fully vaccinated, which officials say provides good protection against the Delta variant.
Statewide, 83 cases of the Delta variant have been detected through the testing done on some samples, up from 35 cases in mid-June, the State Journal reported.
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The state reported 125 new cases of COVID-19 Friday and 205 on Thursday, for a daily average of 91, up from a daily average of 69 cases on June 21.
While the new figures remain well below activity levels in the winter and most of the spring, they may be a sign that the Delta variant is having more of an impact here, said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, a chief medical officer with the health department.
“The Delta strain is becoming the dominant strain,” he said.
Though vaccination rates have dropped around the state, 5,000 to 10,000 people are still getting shots each day, Willems Van Dijk said.