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COVID-19 infections and deaths in Wisconsin continue to ebb as more residents get vaccinated, but the state may not reach herd immunity until fall — rather than this summer, a top state health leader told the Associated Press.
Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk earlier this spring said that Wisconsin could vaccinate 70% of its population — enough to effectively snuff out COVID-19 — by July. But slowing vaccination rates mean the state may not reach that threshold until September or October, Van Dijk told reporter Todd Richmond.
DHS on Monday reported that 40.9% of residents were fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, people with compromised immune systems may get less protection from the COVID-19 vaccine and continue to face risks from exposure to unvaccinated people, Guy Boulton of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
DHS official: Herd immunity may come this fall in Wisconsin — Associated Press
People with compromised immune systems face potential threat from people not vaccinated for COVID-19 — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
La Crosse bishop asks Father Altman to resign amid controversies — La Crosse Tribune
These are the text messages that get people to take vaccines — The Washington Post
Covid on the Run — The New York Times (The Morning newsletter)
What activities can unvaccinated children do? Advice from 828 experts. — The New York Times
Beloit College to require COVID-19 vaccines for students and employees this fall— Wisconsin State Journal
Packers no longer require masks at Lambeau Field, Titletown District spaces for fully vaccinated— Green Bay Press-Gazette
Data to Note
Here’s a look at the Department of Health Services’ vaccine dashboard, which showed Monday that 46.8% of Wisconsinites have received at least one vaccine dose, including 82.8% of those ages 65 and older. Meanwhile, 40.9% of Wisconsinites are fully vaccinated, including 78.5% of those older than 65. Racial disparities persist in distributing vaccines. The shares of Black, Hispanic and Native American residents to receive a dose remain below that of white residents.
On Monday, the state DHS reported a seven-day average of 330 new daily infections amid a long-term downward trend in new cases. The state also reported one new COVID-19 death, bringing the full toll to 6,990.
Meanwhile, the state is averaging about 60 hospitalizations over the past week — a number that has stayed relatively flat in recent weeks, as this chart from WisContext shows.
Find a vaccine site near you
DHS and the federal government have partnered with Vaccine Finder to help Wisconsinites find vaccinations. Vaccinations are often by appointment, but providers are increasingly offering walk-in options. In addition, people seeking COVID-19 shots can text their ZIP code to 438829 to find nearby vaccine providers.
Not sure if something you heard about COVID-19 is true? FactCheck.org offers this page full of explainers — and debunking of common distortions — about the disease to help you sort out fact from fiction.
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