Evers, Department of Health urge COVID-19 vaccination before school starts

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) — Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health took time Thursday to encourage anyone going to school in the upcoming 2021-22 school year to get their COVID-19 vaccine before it starts.

“Getting vaccinated now means we can help make sure our students are back in the classroom and won’t have to miss out on in-person classes or extra-curricular activities,” said Evers. “The COVID-19 vaccines are the best protection we have against the virus and make it possible for our kids to get back to learning safely and without disruption.”

That includes children ages 12 and up as well as anyone planning to attend in-person classes at a college or university.

Confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 have been increasing over the past several weeks after a period of regular decline. The 7-day average of new confirmed cases stands at 242, which represents a 303% increase since the 7-day average reached a recent low of 60 cases per day just two and a half weeks ago. Health officials with the DHS say most are attributed to the more-transmissible Delta variant.

“It is important that we continue to vaccinate everyone who is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines, especially as students, faculty and teachers, and other staff make plans to return to school in the fall,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “With the recent increase in new cases, and the very real threat of the Delta variant, vaccination remains our best tool for preventing further disruption in our schools and universities throughout the state.”

Health experts continue to say that people who are fully vaccinated don’t need to quarantine after close contact with COVID-19, which means parents won’t need to worry about fully-vaccinated children missing out on in-person school or after school activities if they are exposed to the coronavirus.

La Crosse area educators also urged people to get vaccinated Thursday, saying it was the best way to keep kids in school.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine location in your community visit Vaccines.gov, or call 211 or 877-947-2211. Select daycares are offering free childcare during your COVID-19 vaccine appointment, and select CVS and Walgreen pharmacies are offering extended hours on Fridays. Learn about these resources at the DHS Find a Vaccine Appointment webpage.

Watch the DHS answer questions about the spread live on YouTube.