Wisconsin at lowest percent positivity since start of pandemic, doctors say summer will be normal for many

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- With case numbers going in the right direction, vaccinations rolling out and restrictions loosening, doctors say the next few months could look pretty normal, but this welcomed news isn't exactly for everyone.

"There are some incredibly encouraging positive signs that we're seeing, especially in the state of Wisconsin," said Dr. Mary-Beth Graham, infectious disease specialist at Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin.

The seven-day average in Wisconsin is at 0.8-perecent test positivity, it's the lowest ever since the start of the pandemic. Some doctors say for vaccinated people, summer will be back to normal.

"For summer 2021, things are looking pretty good. If you want to go to a festival that's okay, you want to go to see the Bucks play in the tournament, that would be great too, if you want to have an indoor gathering, that's okay," adds Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer at UW Health.

"I truly believe that the decrease we've seen, we have to put a lot of emphasis on vaccine," says Dr. Graham.

Dr. Pothof says the likelihood of getting infected in communities with high vaccination rates is extremely low, but areas with low vaccination rates are at higher risk. Only 45.3-percent of Wisconsin residents have finished their vaccine series as of Monday.

"The spread of the Delta variant and it being more contagious and likely able to cause more severe disease, you know the news isn't quite as bright and sunny for folks that aren't vaccinated," Dr. Pothof said.

"The CDC is very clear, they want people who are not vaccinated to continue to follow the standard mitigation steps," adds Dr. Graham.

Dr. Pothof says reports of higher than average rates of the Delta variant spreading in some Midwest states could affect how quickly it spreads in Wisconsin, but he says uptick isn't likely until the fall.

"Oftentimes when those high states are close to yours, it's reasonable to believe that people from those high areas are traveling to your area and it just doesn't take too many cases for this to get going," he says.

Dr. Pothof says kids' vaccines will also play an important part in helping communities return to normal in the fall. He says trials are ongoing and hopes that vaccination appointments will be available for kids under 12 by August and September.

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