Wisconsin officials 'preparing for the worst' as COVID-19 cases surge

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- State officials say now is the time to get vaccinated if you haven't already.

There is now a surge in Covid cases due to the delta variant.

Governor Evers says it feels like we're back at square one and the only way to get back on track is to encourage everyone you know to get vaccinated.

"We've encountered some turbulence as we've learned that vaccinated people who are infected with the delta variant can spread it to others," said Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

They say it feels like the state has taken five steps back.

"Folks, it's been a while since I sat at this table with all of you and I hoped we wouldn't be back, but unfortunately we are back because we are seeing a concerning increase in COVID-19 cases."

The new variant is highly contagious and spreading faster than any other strain of the virus.

State officials are bracing for hospital systems to be overwhelmed again.

"All 72 counties are experiencing high or very high disease activity and our health care systems are preparing for the worst," Gov. Evers said.

As of Thursday, four more Wisconsinites have lost their battle to COVID-19, bringing the total to 7,466 deaths.

The seven-day average of new confirmed cases has increased 40% over the last week. It's 11 times higher than it was a month ago.

"As the weather changes and more people move indoors , the virus will spread even more rapidly. If you are unvaccinated and exposed, it's not a matter if you'll get it, it's when you get it."

That's why Gov. Evers says there is no time to waste, and protecting you and your family should be your first priority.

"It's going to take all of us working together to get this done. Lets roll up our sleeves, lets get vaccinated and lets come out of this stronger on the other side," Evers said.

Gov. Evers says there is some conversation about whether or not all state employees will be required to get the vaccine.

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