Home WORLD NEWS COVID-19 in Wisconsin: New cases linked to more contagious delta variant – WBAY

COVID-19 in Wisconsin: New cases linked to more contagious delta variant – WBAY

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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) – Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is urging anyone age 12 or older who’s attending school in the fall to get vaccinated as soon as possible for COVID-19, as cases surge in the state due to the more contagious delta variant. The call from Evers and the state’s top health official on Thursday comes amid a growing concern in Wisconsin and nationally about growing numbers of COVID-19 cases.

In a health briefing Thursday afternoon, communicable disease specialist Dr. Ryan Westergaard said since January, 145,759 confirmed and probable cases were among people who aren’t fully vaccinated, compared to 2,390 confirmed or probable so-called “breakthrough” cases among the fully vaccinated.

“98.4% of cases are occurring in people who are not fully vaccinated,” Westergaard said. He added that he expects the percentage is even higher among hospitalized COVID-19 patients, because the COVID-19 vaccine reduces the severity of the virus and the vaccinated people who tested positive were asymptomatic.

The 7-day average of new confirmed cases was up to 242 on Thursday. That rolling average was 70 cases per day on June 29, less than four weeks ago. The DHS says testing confirmed 342 new cases.

The positivity rate rose to 3.0% of all coronavirus test results, based on the 7-day average. That’s up from 2.8% on Wednesday and erases gains made since May 13. Last year, health officials often cited 3% as the measure at which the spread of the virus is considered managed, but the direction it’s trending concerns them.

The death toll rose to 7,393 with 3 more deaths reported to the state, but none of these was in the past 30 days. Wisconsin is still averaging 1 death per day when only considering recent cases.

State numbers show 53 more people were hospitalized for COVID-19 since Wednesday, above our calculated average of 33 admissions per day. Thursday, the Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) reported, after taking discharges and deaths into account, there are 151 COVID-19 patients hospitalized around the state, with 35 of them in intensive care. That’s 2 fewer patients in ICU but 8 more patients overall since Wednesday. Northeast health care region hospitals have 12 patients for COVID treatment, 1 more than the day before, with 3 in ICU. Fox Valley region hospitals now have 9 COVID-19 patients, which is 1 more than Wednesday and 6 more than a week ago; none is in intensive care.

Westergaard said the Fox Valley and Southeast Wisconsin regions are “leading the curve” on hospitalizations.

The CDC reported 83% of cases nationally are attributed to the delta variant. “It will spread most effectively to people who are not vaccinated,” DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk said. “Nearly all of these patients could have avoided this fate if they’d been vaccinated.”

Statewide, 51.3% of Wisconsinites have received a COVID-19 vaccine, with 48.9% of the state’s population getting fully vaccinated. That’s almost 3 million people who got at least one “shot in the arm,” with almost 2.85 million completing their vaccine regimen.

Willems Van Dijk cautioned, “There is no county in Wisconsin that is adequately vaccinated.”

Door, Menominee, Brown and Outagamie counties are the only counties with vaccination rates over 50%. Waushara, Shawano, Dodge and Kewaunee counties have the lowest vaccination rates in WBAY’s viewing area. Vaccination rates in Shawano and Waushara counties are below 40%. These are county averages. On the DHS vaccine data map, you can see vaccination rates by municipality, ZIP Code or a school district’s borders.

VACCINATIONS BY COUNTY POPULATION (THURSDAY)

County (Population) (Health region) % of population (change from previous report) Completed % of population (change from previous report)
Brown (264,542) (NE) 51.2% (+0.1) 49.2% (+0.1)
Calumet (50,089) (FV) 46.2% (+0.0) 44.3% (+0.1)
Dodge (87,839) 41.1% (+0.1) 39.4% (+0.1)
Door (27,668) (NE) 66.5% (+0.0) 64.6% (+0.1)
Fond du Lac (103,403) (SE) 43.9% (+0.1) 42.2% (+0.1)
Forest (9,004) 42.2% (+0.0) 40.7% (+0.0)
Florence (4,295) (NE) 44.5% (+0.1) 42.9% (+0.0)
Green Lake (18,913) (FV) 45.0% (+0.1) 43.4% (+0.1)
Kewaunee (20,434) (NE) 41.5% (+0.1) 40.4% (+0.1)
Manitowoc (78,981) (NE) 48.2% (+0.1) 46.2% (+0.0)
Marinette (40,350) (NE) 42.4% (+0.1) 40.6% (+0.1)
Menominee (4,556) (FV) 53.0% (+0.0) 49.5% (+0.0)
Oconto (37,930) (NE) 42.7% (+0.0) 41.3% (+0.0)
Outagamie (187,885) (FV) 51.1% (+0.1) 48.9% (+0.0)
Shawano (40,899) (FV) 37.7% (+0.0) 36.1% (+0.0)
Sheboygan (115,340) (SE) 49.7% (+0.1) 47.8% (+0.1)
Waupaca (50,990) (FV) 44.0% (+0.1) 42.4% (+0.1)
Waushara (24,443) (FV) 36.4% (+0.1) 35.0% (+0.0)
Winnebago (171,907) (FV) 49.1% (+0.1) 47.1% (+0.1)
NORTHEAST REGION (474,200) (NE) 235,613 (49.7%) (+0.1) 226,663 (47.8%) (+0.1)
FOX VALLEY REGION (549,682) (FV) 261,231 (47.5%) (+0.1) 250,544 (45.6%) (+0.1)
WISCONSIN (5,822,434) 2,985,851 (51.3%) (+0.1) 2,848,546 (48.9%) (+0.0)

Willems Van Dijk blamed the slowdown on vaccinations on misinformation from “errant sources.”

“How many cases of polio do you see? How many cases of measles do you see day-to-day?” she asked rhetorically in the briefing. “Because people were not spreading misinformation like they are today that people fell prey to.”

“The threat of misinformation comes to life even more when you hear the words of critically ill patients with COVID,” she said, and shared the stories from a doctor in Alabama whose patients begged for the vaccine as they were being put on a ventilator and the doctor had to tell them it was too late.

The Winnebago County Health Department and Oshkosh Area School District are offering a free, walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic Saturday, July 24, from 9 A.M. to Noon. It’s at Time Community Theater, 445 N. Main St., during the Oshkosh Farmers Market. Anyone 12 and older is welcome. The clinic will also offer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine for adults.

Local health departments are urging parents to get their school-age kids vaccinated by July 21 so that the vaccination is fully effective when school starts. For many school districts, that’s September 1. The Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for children 12 to 17, so kids in that age group would need to get their first shot by July 27, and their second shot three weeks later, plus two weeks for the vaccine to arm the body’s immune system.

Pfizer says it could present data from clinical studies in children ages 5 to 11 to the Food and Drug Administration in September. Pfizer hopes to receive emergency use authorization for its vaccine in that younger age group soon after.

Wisconsin population vaccinated, by age group (and change since last report)

  • 12-15: 31.7% received a dose (+0.2)/27.6% completed (+0.2)
  • 16-17: 41.4% received a dose (+0.2)/37.9% completed (+0.1)
  • 18-24: 43.7% received a dose (+0.1)/40.2% completed (+0.1)
  • 25-34: 48.3% received a dose (+0.1)/45.4% completed (+0.1)
  • 35-44: 56.2% received a dose (+0.1)/53.4% completed (+0.1)
  • 45-54: 58.4% received a dose (+0.1)/55.8% completed (+0.1)
  • 55-64: 68.7% received a dose (+0.1)/66.2% completed (+0.1)
  • 65+: 83.5% received a dose (+0.0)/81.6% completed (+0.1)

February 5, 2020, to July 22, 2021

  • 616,092 confirmed coronavirus cases
  • 32,891 hospitalizations (5%)
  • 7,393 deaths (1.20%)
  • 3,555 cases still active (1%)
  • 604,749 considered recovered (98%)

THURSDAY’S COUNTY CASE AND DEATH TOTALS (counties with new cases or deaths are indicated in bold) **

  • Brown – 32,051 cases (+14) (256 deaths)
  • Calumet – 5,868 cases (+3) (51 deaths)
  • Dickinson (Mich.)* – 2,421 cases (59 deaths)
  • Dodge – 12,053 cases (+3) (177 deaths)
  • Door – 2,639 cases (27 deaths)
  • Florence – 457 cases (13 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 12,676 cases (+15) (130 deaths)
  • Forest – 971 cases (24 deaths)
  • Gogebic (Mich.)* – 1,080 cases (24 deaths)
  • Green Lake – 1,624 cases (+1) (20 deaths)
  • Iron (Mich.)* – 996 cases (43 deaths)
  • Kewaunee – 2,385 cases (+5) (27 deaths)
  • Langlade – 2,056 cases (35 deaths)
  • Manitowoc – 7,670 cases (+4) (76 deaths)
  • Marinette – 4,245 cases (+3) (68 deaths)
  • Menominee (Mich.)* – 1,803 cases (42 deaths)
  • Menominee – 805 cases (11 deaths)
  • Oconto – 4,553 cases (+0) (62 deaths) (+1)
  • Outagamie – 20,930 cases (+7) (223 deaths)
  • Shawano – 4,778 cases (+1) (73 deaths)
  • Sheboygan – 13,945 cases (+3) (152 deaths)
  • Waupaca – 4,993 cases (+2) (123 deaths)
  • Waushara – 2,229 cases (+2) (35 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 18,449 cases (+4) (202 deaths)

* As of July 2, Michigan Department of Health only updates information on Tuesdays and Fridays. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Wisconsin Hospital Association do not update reports on weekends.

** Cases and deaths are from state COVID-19 reports, which may differ from local health department numbers. The Wisconsin DHS reports cases from all health departments within a county’s boundaries, including tribal, municipal and county health departments; county websites may not. Also, public health departments update their data at various times, whereas the DHS freezes the numbers it receives by the same time every day to compile the afternoon report.

Copyright 2021 WBAY. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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