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APPLETON – The city’s COVID-19 death toll has risen to 21, after health officials on Thursday announced another resident has died due to complications of the virus.

The person lived in the Outagamie County portion of the city, according to a news release. No other information about the deceased’s age was provided.

About half of the city’s total deaths, the first of which occurred in April, have been reported this month. As of Thursday, the Appleton metro area is considered by The New York Times to be fifth in the nation for the highest average number of daily cases per capita over the last two weeks.

Also Thursday, the city reported 39 new cases — 31 in Outagamie County and eight in Calumet County.

That means the city has had 2,897 total confirmed cases. In all, 946 cases are considered active, meaning the resident is still experiencing symptoms or remains in isolation, and 1,930 cases are out of isolation. 

State health officials Thursday reported 3,413 new cases across Wisconsin and warned that, with 68 of the state’s 72 counties meeting the threshold of “very high” disease activity, the virus is spreading “silently” through asymptomatic people.

“We have to presume that it’s everywhere,” said Ryan Westergaard, chief medical officer for the Department of Heath Services.

The Appleton Health Department continues to encourage residents to follow health and safety precautions that have been said to prevent the spread of the virus since the pandemic began: Physically distancing at least six feet from people you don’t live with, wearing a mask, frequent hand-washing, keeping indoor gatherings to those inside your own household and limiting outdoor gatherings to 10 people or fewer.

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Contact reporter Samantha West at 920-996-7207 or swest@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter at @BySamanthaWest.

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