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COVID-19 delta variant detected in the Northwoods

Story By Meghan Mamlock
Local News Published 07/20/2021 5:13PM, Last Updated 07/20/2021 7:15PM
Rhinelander - Some COVID-19-related health and safety restrictions are being put back in place across the country as the delta variant spreads--especially in large cities such as Los Angeles, where they are reissuing mask mandates.

Local medical officials have noticed the worrying trend as now 55 percent of the new COVID cases in Wisconsin are attributed to the delta variant.

Oneida County Health Department Health Officer Linda Conlon is worried about its effects on life here in the Northwoods, especially after having a massive event like Country Fest.
"Definitely seen some cases come through from Country Fest and their contacts becoming positive," Conlon said. "So, we are seeing so far just a few. But time will tell, and I expect we will see some more."

Vaccinations have been on a downward trend, with just a handful of people coming in for their vaccine series. Medical officials say the 12 and older populations should begin to get their vaccines now so they will be ready once school begins.
"I think we're going to start seeing more cases now, and I think it's going to continue to climb as we go back to school," Conlon said. "And if we are not doing all of our measures and kids are going back to school and we're more indoors, we will see a spike."
Measures people can take to prevent contracting the delta variant are the same as what has been advised for the past year and a half, including continuing to wash your hands and staying home when you feel sick.

"If you're not vaccinated, please get vaccinated. If you're not fully vaccinated and it hasn't been two weeks yet since your vaccine, you should still wear a mask," Conlon said. "We are asking people that are not fully vaccinated to wear masks indoors."
Medical officials are being updated with new guidance for the fall. For more information on getting vaccinated you can contact the Oneida County Health Department.
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