By WCCO-TV Staff

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The number of new daily COVID-19 cases reported in Wisconsin has surpassed 1,000 for the first time in months, fueled by the spread of the more contagious delta variant, health officials said Friday.

The Wisconsin Department of Health reported 1,058 new cases of COVID-19 in the state on Friday — the highest since April 8. The number of cases that stem from the delta variant has doubled.

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The seven-day average of daily cases in Wisconsin has increased for the 24th straight day.

Wisconsin Department of Health Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said vaccination is key to stopping the virus’ spread.

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“The proportion of sequenced tests that are the delta variant is high in our state, and high throughout our country. We know the spread is related to that variant. And when we look at the data, it is important to remember that increased spread also increases the danger of new variants developing,” she said.

More than 49% of Wisconsin residents have been fully vaccinated against COVID and nearly 52% had received at least one dose as of Friday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

From mid July to Tuesday, state-wide hospitalizations due to COVID have increased 51%. Health officials say that number is expected to grow.

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