Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Wisconsin curve flattening on COVID, but what happens next defines our Fall

Like much of America, Wisconsin's COVIDS cases and complications continued to rise last week. Although I will note that the curve is starting to get flattened out, with new cases increasing by less than 850 compared to the prior week.

But that's little comfort to those who have already been afflicted, and we are now starting to see alarming increases in hospitalizations.

And deaths are starting to follow, with more than 20 COVID deaths in each of the last two weeks, and possibly worse for this week.

Drilling down to regions of the state, the Milwaukee area continues to have the worst of it, with Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Waukesha Counties each having a rate of more than 400 cases per 100,000 people over the last 2 weeks. But now they're being joined by outstate areas, with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services saying today that 7 counties outside of Southeast Wisconsin are seeing "very high" activity above the statewide rate.

But you also see that flattening of new cases in recent days, and perhaps people are taking the virus more seriously in these parts again. It's certainly possible that enough people smarten up, vax up and limit the damage, and we see a livable Fall and set the tone for a clear 2022.

However, vaccination rates still need to get better in most places, with barely 3/5 of adults statewide fully vaccinated at this late date, and the start of school looms in 2 weeks. There is also a real danger of this going the wrong way in the next few weeks as the bells ring and the weather cools, and I fear August will have the most deaths out of the last 3. This is why it's likely a wise decision for Dane County to mandate masks indoors, at least for the next month, even if our infection rates are lower than the rest of the state.

Because we don't want the Fall of 2020 to look like Florida or Texas or Louisiana do today....or Wisconsin in the Fall of 2020.

No comments:

Post a Comment