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Wisconsin Leaders Concerned About 'Clear Surge' In COVID-19 Cases, Urge Schools To Mask Up

A COVID vaccine clinic stands open in a school on August 05, 2021 in Springfield, Missouri.
Spencer Platt
Getty Images
A COVID vaccine clinic stands open in a school on August 05, 2021 in Springfield, Missouri.

Gov. Tony Evers said he’s concerned about a steady uptick in COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin. The seven-day average of new, confirmed cases has increased 40% over the past week, and he attributed the climb to the delta variant.

“Folks, this delta variant is no joke. It is highly infectious and is spreading more quickly than any other strain of the virus. We are no longer in a fight against COVID-19, this is now a fight against the delta variant and all the potential variants that could follow,” Evers said.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) recorded 1,460 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday. Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said the seven-day average is about 1,100 new cases, something she called a “clear surge.” She urged people, whether vaccinated or not, to wear masks indoors.

And, she had a particularly compelling message for the schools: “This is also why we are urging all schools and school districts to adopt CDC and DHS recommendations to require students and staff to wear masks. Because our youngest students can’t be vaccinated, it is the most important action for schools to take to provide a safe learning environment for our kids."

Van Dijk said to date, nearly 3 million people have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

Gov. Evers said he’s still thinking about whether to provide a $100 cash incentive to encourage people to get the vaccine — that comes in response to a recent call from President Joe Biden. Evers also said he’ll decide next week whether to issue a vaccine mandate for state employees.

Marti was a reporter with WUWM from 1999 to 2021.
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