COVID-19 update: Door County vaccinators make scheduling changes; Kewaunee County sees cases jump
Changes are happening in how people can schedule and receive their vaccines in Door County.
The Door County Health and Human Services Department's online system for people to schedule their COVID-19 vaccinations remains temporarily shut down by the county as of Tuesday because of the inability to use the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson.
Meanwhile, Door County Medical Center announced it will hold smaller vaccination clinics instead of the mass vaccination clinic at the Sturgeon Bay hospital because so many people in the county have received their shots from a variety of sources that the demand is decreasing.
The scheduling issue for the county health department arose just a couple weeks after it closed its waiting list for vaccines and launched the online scheduler.
But on April 12, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services instructed all vaccination providers in the state to stop using the single-dose J&J vaccine because of reports of rare but severe blood clots as a side effect in a small number of patients nationwide.
That saw both the Door and Kewaunee county health departments needing to reschedule people who were set for the J&J shot to instead start the two-dose vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech. According to its page on the county website, the Door County department will reopen online scheduling when able to do so.
Door County Medical Center hasn't had the J&J vaccine on hand for more than a week and is using the two-dose vaccine from Moderna, so it didn't need to make changes to its vaccination schedules.
In Kewaunee County, Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard said last week that people who already were scheduled to receive a J&J vaccine were offered appointments for a Pfizer shot, with their first doses expected to be administered by the end of this week.
With vaccines available from the county health department, Door County Medical and participating local pharmacies, Door County continues to rank among the highest of the state's 72 counties for the percentage of its residents vaccinated, according to statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
The department said 15,768 of the county's 27,610 residents, or 57%, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, ahead of Dane (53.6%) and Bayfield (53.2%) counties, while 10,970 people, or 39.6%, have completed their cycles, the second-highest percentage behind Bayfield's 43.2%.
Because so many residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and with different places offering them, Door County Medical said in a statement on its website and Facebook page that its mass vaccination clinic will close in favor of smaller clinics at the end of the month.
"Due to the fast start in vaccinating our community and the efforts of Door County Public Health, local pharmacies, and others, the demand for continued vaccinations has dramatically decreased in the past few days. Therefore, the COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics held at Door County Medical Center will be ending at the end of April," the statement said. "We will schedule smaller clinics going forward as needed and will continue with second dose appointments as scheduled."
But the increased number of people eligible for and getting vaccines continues to be accompanied by a surge in positive cases over the past few weeks, and health professionals continue to emphasize that even after getting their shots, people should continue to protect themselves and others outside their immediate families from the spread of the virus until widespread herd immunity is achieved.
Kewaunee County is one of the communities that experienced such a surge in the past week, with 27 tests coming back positive for COVID-19 out of 92 total results, or 29.3%, between April 10 and 16. That's compared to seven positive tests and an 8% rate of positive tests the week before in the county, and the positivity rate is the highest seven-day figure in the county in 12 weeks.
The percentage of positive tests, aka positivity rate, over a given time is a metric used by many health organizations to gauge the spread of the virus in a community, and the World Health Organization has said that a rate of more than 5% is concerning because it means testing isn’t widespread enough to capture the spread of the virus among the general population.
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Statistics as of April 18 (provided by the county and state health departments) are as follows:
Positive tests in past week:
- Kewaunee County, 27, 20 more than previous week
- Door County, 18, two less than previous week
Negative tests in past week:
- Kewaunee, 65
- Door, 120
Seven-day percentage of positive tests (positivity rate):
- Kewaunee, 29.3% (8% the week before)
- Door, 13% (was 13.5%)
- Wisconsin, 3.4% (was 3.8%)
Total positive tests:
- Kewaunee: 2,600, one in every 7.8 residents
- Door: 2,570, one in every 10.1 residents
Total negative tests:
- Kewaunee, 9,467
- Door, 14,497
Cumulative positivity rate since testing began:
- Kewaunee, 21.5%
- Door, 15%
Positive tests per 100,000 residents over past week:
- Kewaunee, 102, 15th among state's 72 counties
- Door, 65, 38th in state
Deaths from COVID-19 complications:
- Kewaunee, 35, none in past week
- Door, 22, none in past week
Hospitalizations from the virus in past week:
- Kewaunee, 2
- Door, none
- Kewaunee, 24 (was 13 as of April 9)
- Door, 102 (was 125)
- Kewaunee, 2,541
- Door, data not available
Total vaccines given:
- Kewaunee (including other providers besides health department), 7,101 (34.8%) received at least one dose, 5,261 (25.7%) completed their cycles
- Door (including other providers besides health department), 15,768 (57%) received at least one dose, highest rate in state (Dane 53.6%, Bayfield 53.2%); 10,970 (39.6%) completed their cycles, second-highest in state (Bayfield 43.2%)
- Wisconsin, 2,341,100 (40.2%) at least one dose, 1,641,276 (27.7%) completed their cycles
Vaccine doses given in past week:
- Kewaunee, 358 first doses, 415 completed their cycles
- Door, 1,721 first doses, 1,699 completed their cycles
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: COVID-19 update: Door County vaccinators make scheduling changes; Kewaunee County sees cases jump