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Wisconsin COVID-19 cases dropping but at a slow rate; Iowa surpasses 7,000 virus deaths



MADISON, Wis. (AP) — COVID-19 infections are going down in Wisconsin, although medical professionals say it has been a slow fall.

The state experienced a spike in cases in September brought on by the delta variant. But the return to levels seen before the surge has been “painfully slow,” according to Dr. John Raymond, president and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is averaging more than 1,900 new COVID-19 cases per day, Department of Health Services figures show. That’s down considerably from September when the number climbed above 2,900. However, the numbers were down to double digits in June.

“Compared to other states, we’re lagging a little bit. The surge hit us a little later than other parts of the country and is abating a little bit later than it is in other parts of the country,” Raymond said.

The seven-day average of deaths in Wisconsin fell below double digits Wednesday for the first time in almost two months.

About 55 percent of Wisconsin residents are fully vaccinated, according to DHS. About half a million youngsters across the state will become eligible for the Pfizer shots in the coming days when they’re rolled out for children ages 5 to 11.

Meanwhile, Iowa surpassed 7,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, according to Iowa Department of Public Health data.

The state reported 104 additional deaths occurring between Aug. 8 and Oct. 30 bringing the state death total to 7,069 since early 2020.

Iowa ranks 26th in the nation in the number of deaths per 100,000 people since January 2020 and 13th nationally in number of deaths per 100,000 in the past seven days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC data this week suggests an uptick in virus spread in Iowa as the seven-day moving average of daily cases increased to more than 1,000 a day again after dropping below 1,000 for the past two weeks. State data shows 20% of new cases in the past week were children age 17 and younger.

Most of the state remains in a high rate of spread, the CDC said.

Iowa began vaccinating children aged 5-11 on Wednesday after receiving about 99,000 doses of vaccine for children.

Public health officials estimated about 284,000 children are eligible for vaccination after Tuesday’s approval by the CDC.

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