Saturday, July 10, 2021

A two-track Wisconsin continues to show up in COVID vaccinations

With news of certain parts of (unvaccinated) America seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, I wanted to check back on Wisconsin's situation with the virus. And we now have new layers of data to dig into, as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced new data tools this week.
Today the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) released maps and corresponding downloadable data tables that break down COVID-19 vaccinations by new geographic boundaries. The new maps allow Wisconsinites to view existing COVID-19 vaccination data by municipalities (cities, towns, and villages), zip code tabulation areas, school district boundaries, and census tracts.

“Breaking down existing vaccination data by these additional geographies offers new ways for people to understand COVID-19 activity within their communities and will allow us to determine where we need to focus our ongoing vaccination outreach efforts,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “Providing timely, transparent COVID-19 information to local and tribal health officials and the public has been a top priority throughout the pandemic, and these updates continue that commitment.”

DHS also recently released an additional filter option for the COVID-19 Vaccines for Wisconsin Residents dashboard. Users can now select to view vaccination data for just the adult population ages 18 and older.
And the Census tract table of who has taken the shot tells a lot.

If you go further into the SE quadrant of Wisconsin, and if you know which groups live in which parts of town, you can see the divide in vaccination ragtes across racial and economic lines.

Sure tells you where vaccination outreach efforts might be needed, and in which communities you might feel safer in spending your money when visiting, eh?

I also wanted to check back on a few counties I looked at a couple of months ago, starting with the places that were the best 3 counties for getting its population vaccinated at that time. Since then, Dane County has established itself as the clear leader in getting its people vaccinated, Door County is doing well, and Bayfield County is starting to lag a bit.

And I also looked at 8 counties that have similar rates of people with at least 1 vaccination, but have very different rates of vaccinations among ages. First off, those 8 counties are still similar on the toplines.

Now go across the age range, and note how the 4 counties up North lag in vaccinations among kids under 18, and then how Ashland jumps up among adults (especially adults 35+). It's also worth noting how Ozaukee and to a lesser extent Waukesha act more like the blue-voting counties than the 3 red(neck) counties below that group. And that La Crosse's figures are even better than they seem, because the numbers are held down because of lagging rates among their large college-age population (well, they haven't gotten their shots in La Crosse County anyway).

I headed up to see family at a family place in Vilas County for a couple of days this week, but I mostly stayed at the cabin with my vaxxed folks. But I noticed the large amount of Help Wanted signs and drove through Minocqua on a rainy Wednesday as I headed back, and saw the large crowds that took advantage of a Holiday week to go to the Northwoods as a non-flying destination. Given the lack of vaccinations among the adult populace there, I think we should check back in a couple of weeks to see if our 7-day COVID infection rate remains under 100, or if we start to see some regional resurgence of our own after a long 4th of July weekend.

While we're well past the herd immunity levels here in Dane County, that isn't true for a lot of parts of Wisconsin. We don't have this thing entirely licked yet, so please play it smart, and if you know of non-vaxxed people, get them off that status as fast as you can. And keep it outside as much as you can.

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