COVID-19 cases rise in Kewaunee, Door counties; Kewaunee has fourth-highest rate in state
Both Kewaunee and Door counties saw their reported positive tests for the COVID-19 virus skyrocket to new seven-day records in the period from Sept. 22 to 29, the third straight week (Tuesday to Tuesday) the counties registered new highs for positives.
The rapidly rising numbers saw the Door County Public Health Department announce Monday it's asking for the community to help because it's no longer able to provide timely notifications to close contacts of those infected because of "significant uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in our community."
Meanwhile, the rate of COVID-19 infections in Kewaunee County based on a percentage of the population is now the fourth-highest in Wisconsin as the county also reported a third straight week (Tuesday to Tuesday) with a record number of positive tests.
The Kewaunee County Public Health Department reported an overall total of 573 cases as of Tuesday, 156 of those announced in the previous seven days. One hundred and twenty-seven new positives were reported the week before, 68 positives from Sept. 8 to 15, each of which were seven-day highs for the county at the time. Those number mean 62% of all positive tests in the county since the pandemic began this spring have been reported in the last three weeks.
In one of the metrics the state uses to determine the severity of the pandemic, Kewaunee County now has 2,814 positive tests per 100,000 people (based on a population of 20,360). That's the fourth most among Wisconsin's 72 counties, trailing only neighboring Brown (3,550), Forest (3,204) and Milwaukee (3,032); the county with the next highest per-100,000 rate is La Crosse with 2,626.
With 533 test results coming back in the past week, the rate of positive tests in the county was 29.2% for that time, comparable to 26.1% the week before and 30% from Sept. 8 to 15. As of Tuesday, 145 cases are considered "active," up from 125 on Sept. 22 and 65 on Sept. 15.
Out of 5,185 tests over the course of the pandemic, 12.9% were positive, rising from 9% last week and 7% the week before. As of Tuesday, there are 4,612 negative tests.
So far, 426 cases have recovered, up 136 from Sept. 22, and the death toll attributed to COVID-19 complications in the county remains at two, the last happening July 20. 306 results are pending.
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Door County sees surge as well
Door County saw a surge of 113 new positive cases in the past week, from 264 reported Sept. 22 to 377 on Tuesday. That's a 42% increase in total cases, and the positives for the week are more than the 112 reported the previous two weeks combined, 64 from Sept. 15 to 22 and 48 from Sept. 8 to 15, each of which were weekly records.
The 113 new cases in Door County came from 258 results, a 43.8% positive rate over the past seven days, compared to 14.8% the week before. With a population of 27,439, the number of positive results per 100,000 people is 1,374. Ninety cases are currently active, compared to 92 on Sept. 22.
With the total of 377 positives since testing began resulting from 7,089 tests, Door County has an overall rate of 5.3% for positive tests, staying well below the state rate as it has throughout the pandemic (currently 7.8%) but a notable rise from 3.9% as of Sept. 22.
So far, 284 cases have recovered, an increase of 115 over the past week, and while three Door residents have died from COVID-19, none have happened since early May. 441 results are pending.
Because of the recent surge, the Door County health department said in a press release it will stop calling close contacts of people who test positive. With test results now taking five to seven days to come back, the department also is asking people who are tested to remain in isolation while awaiting their results and those who do test positive to stay home for 10 days, notify their employer and ask their close contacts to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their most recent contact.
The press release also asked the public to follow "guidelines we know to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19": Stay home as much as possible, especially if sick, maintain social distancing, wear a face mask, and avoid gatherings and nonessential appointments.
For more information, visit co.door.wi.gov and click on the "COVID-19 Information" button at the top of the page.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: COVID-19 cases rise in Kewaunee, Door counties; Kewaunee has fourth-highest rate in state