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Wisconsin health officials see increased COVID-19 activity

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Coronavirus COVID19

(WKOW) -- Wisconsin is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases, and state health officials say the new, more contagious Delta variant is likely to blame.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) reported the state saw 205 new cases on Thursday and 125 new cases on Friday, for a daily average of 91 cases. That's an increase from June 21, when the daily average was 69 new cases.

DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said the increase in cases reinforces the need for unvaccinated people to get their shots. She said they are especially concerned about rural areas, which are seeing lower vaccination rates.

"Those are the places that lets be very frank, they are at risk if the Delta variant takes hold, which is likely will in Wisconsin," said Willems Van Dijk.

DHS officials said they are focusing on outreach in rural communities, as well as to farmers and agricultural workers.