MILWAUKEE — Health officials are pleading with people to get vaccinated as Milwaukee sees an increase in COVID-19 cases.
While life seems to be getting back to normal, health officials are concerned about another COVID-19 wave.
Medical Director for the Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management, Dr. Benjamin Weston, said it's because of how quickly the delta variant spreads throughout a community.
"For unvaccinated people, the likelihood of transmission when around someone with COVID has increased substantially," Weston said.
The delta variant is a mutation of COVID-19 and was first identified in India.
The main concern is how quickly the delta variant spreads through a community, and locally, we are starting to see a spike in cases among unvaccinated people.
The 7-day average in Wisconsin is 242 cases per day. Just two weeks ago, it was 85 cases per day. That's nearly 3 times higher.
UW Health Medical Director for Infection Prevention, Dr. Nasia Safdar, says getting vaccinated is your first line of defense.
"When you think about ways to contain COVID, you need a good marriage of two things." Safdar said. "You need a host that is protected, and a virus that is not easily transmissible."
The reason she believes cases are rising is because unvaccinated people give the virus an opportunity to amplify and survive.
As for those who cannot be vaccinated or choose not to be, she said following the same safety measures as before, such as wearing a mask, is crucial.
"We certainly don't want a repeat of the early days of the pandemic, but the concern is it's possible. We may get there," Safdar said.
Dr. Weston adds this is a strong reminder for people to continue to stay cautious.