CHIPPEWA FALLS — In the past week, both St. Croix and Buffalo counties reached 50% of their populations having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, joining Eau Claire and Trempealeau counties in reaching that milestone. A full one-third (24 of 72) counties in the state now have reached that mark

However, the gap between counties with high vaccination rates and those with low rates continues to grow. Taylor (27.9%), Clark (28.7%), and Rusk (33.1%) counties continue to have the lowest rates in the state, while Dane County has now reached 69.8%. There are only six counties in the state below 40% with at least one dose, with Monroe, Shawano, and Waushara counties rounding out the list.

In the past week, the state saw a 0.4% increase in residents who received their first COVID-19 vaccination, up slightly from a 0.3% increase each of the past two weeks. Trempealeau County (0.5%) topped the state’s rate, while four others in the region matched it. Trempealeau (54.2%) and Eau Claire (52.2%) counties remain the only counties in the region above the state’s 51.4% rate.

Overall COVID-19 cases have climbed in Wisconsin in recent weeks, but they haven’t skyrocketed like in many southern states. However, the rise of the Delta variant has not led to a significant increase in those seeking vaccinations.

Wisconsin has now given the first dose of the vaccine to 2.99 million (51.4%) residents, up from 2.96 million residents (51%) last week, and up from 2.94 million people (50.7%) two weeks ago.

Roughly 2.85 million Wisconsinites (49%) have completed their vaccine series, up from 2.83 million (48.6%) a week ago.

About 62.2% of all adult Wisconsin residents (ages 18 and older) have now received at least one vaccine dose, up from 61.8% last week. Eau Claire (61.8%), Chippewa (57.3%) and Dunn (47.8%) counties all trail the state’s rate for adult vaccinations.

Roughly 83.6% of Wisconsin’s seniors (age 65 and up) have now received at least one dose, and 68.8% of those ages 55 to 64 have also received their first dose.

In a breakdown by race, 51.3% of Asian Americans have now received their first dose statewide, with the white population at 47.7%, American Indian population at 34.3%, and Black population at 28%. About 10.1% of people who have been vaccinated didn’t report their race or selected “other.”