Thursday, August 26, 2021

COVID was plateauing in Wisconsin, until this week

Up through Saturday of last week, it looked like new COVID infections were continuing to level off in Wisconsin. Yes, it was still higher than the week before, but the rate of increase was only around 9% compared to 12% the week before and nearly 40% the week before that.

But in this week, we've seen more than 2,000 new cases reported in 2 of the last 3 days, and more than 10,000 new cases have been reported over the last week.

And you'll notice DHS reporting "very high" COVID activity in almost half of the counties in Wisconsin, which means that it has become widespread throughout the state, particularly in northern and central Wisconsin over the last two weeks.

That's especially true when you look at the top 10 counties for infection rate. Largely rural areas along with Milwaukee County, which still has a wide swath of its inner city with very low vaccination rates.

Top 10 Counties for COVID infections per 100K people, Aug 11-24
Menominee Co. 639
Taylor County 607
Green Lake Co. 529
Langlade Co. 526
Milwaukee Co. 472
Monroe County 472
Oconto County 469
Forest Co. 457
Eau Claire Co. 455
Chippewa Co. 452

And many other counties are clustered between 400 and 450, including all 3 of the WOW Counties and Racine County. Deaths have also taken a jump up in the state, nearing 50 over the last week - a rate we haven't seen since February (a time when most Wisconsinites couldn't be vaccinated).

Those booster shots can't come on line soon enough, but in the meantime, masking up and playing it smart seems to be the way to go. Let's hope the good weather holds out for another month and that this curve starts bending down as more people get their shots in and re-learn how to lower their risks. Or else this Fall and Winter may look like a lot less fun than we thought it might be a month ago.

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