Gov. Evers stresses importance of vaccines after someone at budget signing event tests positive for COVID-19

NOW: Gov. Evers stresses importance of vaccines after someone at budget signing event tests positive for COVID-19

MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Gov. Tony Evers and members of the medical community are urging Wisconsinites to get the COVID-19 vaccine after a person tested positive since attending the governor's budget bill signing ceremony.  

Last week, the governor held a budget signing event at Cumberland Elementary in Whitefish Bay with members of his cabinet, Democratic lawmakers and students.  

On Monday, July 12, Gov. Evers' office said in an email to event attendees it learned someone from Cumberland Elementary has since reported testing positive for the virus

Evers, who is fully vaccinated and remains asymptomatic, is now stressing the importance of the vaccine.  

Evers' spokeswoman, Britt Cudaback, said "the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and based on years of science and research, and the governor continues to urge Wisconsinites to get the vaccine so we can continue our state’s economic recovery and put this pandemic behind us." 

Ajay Sethi, professor of population health sciences at UW-Madison, said this scenario is proof the pandemic is not over.  

"It's a good reminder that anybody who is not yet vaccinated against COVID-19 really ought to do so because as soon as you leave your house without a mask, you have a risk of catching the virus," said Sethi. 

The budget signing event was held indoors at the school's library. Prior to the event, Evers' staff told attendees to follow CDC and local health guidelines.  

The CDC recently updated their guidance to allow students and faculty who are fully vaccinated to ditch the masks. The agency also says it's up to schools to set their own policies on tracking vaccinations. 

With the Delta variant being more contagious and becoming more prevalent in the state, Sethi is encouraging schools district to monitor the spread in their community and to use it as a tool in their decision-making.  

"Anyone unvaccinated -- the default should be to wear a mask, and if one is not going to recommend wearing a mask while unvaccinated, local data needs to show there's very little to no COVID transmitting," Sethi said. 

Gov. Evers' office said as of Tuesday they have not heard of anyone else testing positive from the event. They are urging the unvaccinated who attended to "immediately seek testing quarantine until July 22, regardless of your test results." 

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