Madison, Wis. – Driven by the delta variant, COVID-19 cases are up around Wisconsin, leading to a rise in hospitalizations and signaling a fourth surge in the pandemic.
The more contagious COVID-19 delta variant is responsible for more than 80% of the new cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC, state and local health officials updated masking recommendations, emphasizing masks should be worn indoors regardless of vaccination status in areas with high transmission. They also recommended masks in K-12 schools.
In Wisconsin, the seven-day trend of cases continues to go up from a low of 60 cases per day on July 5 to 556 cases per day on July 29 — a staggering increase of 826% — according to the Department of Health Services.
State hospitalizations in that time went from 23 to 223, a startling jump of 870%.
More than 98% of cases in Wisconsin from Jan. 1, 2021 to July 22, 2021, are in people who were not fully vaccinated, according to DHS.
50% of Wisconsinites are still unvaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines prevent against severe illness, hospitalization and death. They are safe, free, widely available and the most effective way to protect against the virus.