MADISON, Wis. — Just as local health officials warned a day earlier, Dane County has hit the CDC’s definition for substantial community transmission for COVID-19.
In the CDC’s daily update, Dane County moved from “moderate” levels of community transmission to “substantial” on Friday. It comes a day after Rock County hit the same threshold, and Dane County and Madison officials warned numbers were trending in that direction for them as well.
In its updated guidelines released earlier this week, the CDC recommended communities with substantial or high levels of community transmission go back to wearing masks in all public indoor spaces, including people who have been fully vaccinated from COVID-19.
Public Health Madison & Dane County pre-emptively made the decision to recommend mask-wearing for everyone on Monday, even as the county had not yet hit that threshold. Rock County made their recommendation Friday.
To this point, neither health department has made it a mandate, although Dane County officials did not rule out the possibility earlier this week.
Dane and Rock Counties join Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Jefferson and Walworth as surrounding counties in the substantial spread category. Green, Lafayette and Iowa Counties are still in the moderate spread category, while Grant County is the only one in Wisconsin considered to have low levels of community transmission. Meanwhile, Waukesha, Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties are in the high transmission category.
While the vaccine largely prevents death and serious illness from COVID, as evidenced by the state’s COVID death numbers in recent months, there is growing evidence the Delta variant can still be caught and transmitted by fully vaccinated people, even if they show little or no symptoms.