MILWAUKEE — As coronavirus case levels rise in Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) issued updated guidelines on COVID-19 prevention.

In a press release issued today, DHS provided more information about the preventing the spread of the delta variant, which is more infectious than the original COVID-19 strain.

“Wisconsin’s 7-day average for new confirmed and probable cases has been trending upward,” DHS deputy secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said in the release. “We are concerned with this trajectory along with the increasing proportion of sequenced SARS-CoV-2 specimens that are the Delta variant.”

DHS also said that Wisconsinites should follow the CDC’s newest mask guidance, which is as follows:

  • "All teachers, staff, students, and visitors of K-12 schools should wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status."

  • "Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, who lives in areas with substantial and high transmission as noted on this CDC map(link is external) (orange counties represent substantial transmission and red counties represent high transmission) should wear masks in public indoor settings.”

The release urges unvaccinated individuals in Wisconsin to get the vaccine, as 98% of all COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin were found in unvaccinated people.

“As COVID-19 cases climb, and the delta variant continues to spread, we urge Wisconsinites to get vaccinated,” said Willems Van Dijk. “We must protect our children as they head back to school this fall, along with all other Wisconsinites who are at an increased risk for being hospitalized from COVID-19. Vaccines and the additional protection from wearing masks are the best combination of tools to achieve this goal.”