MADISON- Wisconsin health officials say the latest surge of COVID-19 infections due to the highly contagious delta variant has not yet peaked in the state.
The seven-day average of new cases as of Tuesday was 2,857, nearly double what it was two weeks ago and at a level not seen since early January before the vaccine was widely available.
Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake says, “We are not at a plateau yet, we are not at a leveling off.”
Hospitalizations as of Tuesday was down slightly from the previous three days.
Wisconsin Chief Medical Officer Ryan Westergaard says students returning to class, in many cases without masks or vaccines, has helped the Delta variant spread.
“The answer is clearly yes,” Westergaard said. “Compared to a year ago at this time, when you look at the number of schools reporting outbreaks we’re more than twice as many outbreaks that have been identified. We’re seeing these things at a higher level than we were in the fall of 2020.”
Westergaard also advocated for school districts to implement mandatory mask mandates as a way to slow the spread, “If we did that consistently I think it’s a very reasonable assumption we would be seeing fewer cases in schools.”
According to the latest data available via the DHS website, there were more than 14-hundred COVID cases reported among 14-17 year old’s and more than 15-hundred in the 9-13 age group.