The seven-day rolling average of new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin topped 1,000 per day for the first time in two months, according to the Department of Health Services.
Despite the rising case rate, the rate of death from COVID-19 has been hovering near an all-time low. Still, University of Wisconsin students should continue to take precautions, UW professor of Population Health Sciences Ajay Sethi said in an email statement.
“When the community level of COVID rises, everyone — including students — will have a higher chance of catching the virus,” Sethi said. “The risk of infection becoming severe is higher in those who have weakened immune systems or are unvaccinated.”
People haven’t been getting severely ill from COVID-19 due to immunity from a combination of past infections and vaccinations, Sethi said.
But COVID-19 continues to evolve and each new variant will raise case rates — though Sethi said each increase will be followed by subsequent declines.
“There are sub-lineages of omicron today that are even more infectious than the original Omicron variant that spread rapidly in our community in January,” Sethi said. “Since people are not wearing masks as often nowadays, the virus is finding opportunities to spread between people.”
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It is a good idea to resume wearing masks while around others, especially indoors and in crowded settings, Sethi said. This will help the current wave of cases to begin to decline, Sethi said.
In addition to masks, everyone should have an antigen test on hand and be vaccinated for COVID-19, Sethi said.
If diagnosed with COVID-19, Sethi advises individuals to contact their doctor and get a prescription for Paxlovid, an oral antiviral treatment created by Pfizer to combat COVID-19.