COVID-19: Kewaunee, Door counties see numbers rise to pre-vaccination levels
Over the past three weeks, Kewaunee County is seeing numbers of positive test results for COVID-19 not seen since late January — about the time vaccines for the virus became available — accompanied by a correspondingly steep rise in the percentage of positive tests.
The numbers aren't as dramatic for those three weeks from Door County, but they're still reaching levels not seen since immediately before the vaccine came out.
Between July 30 and Aug. 20, the Kewaunee County Public Health Department reported 99 positive results from a total of 319 tests for a positivity rate over those 21 days of 31%.
The county hasn't seen test rates that high since the week of Jan. 19 to 25, when a positivity rate of 37.5% followed two straight weeks at more than 35%.
The rate of positive tests in Door County from July 29 to Aug. 23 is 15.5%, with that time frame just the second time the percentage has been in double digits in two months and, except for two blips in the pattern in the spring, the highest figure since early February.
The Door County Public Health Department also reported a high number of positive cases over those three weeks, 94, but those came from 605 tests. As of Monday, 124 cases are considered active.
The positivity rate is a metric used by many health departments to measure how well a community is fighting the spread of the virus. 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.
The 99 positives over three weeks in Kewaunee County averages out to 33 a week, and the county did report exactly that number between Aug. 14 and 20. Over the five weeks from the end of June and throughout July, the highest weekly number reported by the county was four, and all but two weeks since March have seen fewer than 20 new cases. Thirty-eight cases were considered active as of Monday, also the most since January.
Door County's average of 31 positives over that time compares to the 29 total positives it reported in the 10 preceding weeks.
The fast-rising figures in Kewaunee and Door counties corresponds to surges in COVID-19 in much of Wisconsin and the U.S. The rises are generally attributed to the Delta variant of the coronavirus, which spreads more quickly and easily than other variants, and a notable slowdown in people getting vaccinated.
While Door County remains one of the leaders in the state in getting its population vaccinated — 18,271, or 66% of all residents, have completed their vaccines, including 78.8% of adults, both second to Dane among Wisconsin's 72 counties — Kewaunee County has seen 8,986 of its residents (44%) receive at least one dose of the vaccine and 8,497 (41.6%) complete the process, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Those percentages rank 61st and 62nd in the state as of Monday.
One bit of good news is that Kewaunee County hasn't reported a COVID-19-related death in 19 weeks and only one since Jan. 25. Door County's toll has crept up to 30 but with no new deaths reported for about a month.
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Statistics as of Aug. 23 (provided by the county and state health departments) are as follows:
Positive tests in past three weeks:
- Kewaunee County, 99
- Door County, 94
Negative tests in past three weeks:
- Kewaunee, 220
- Door, 511
21-day percentage of positive tests (positivity rate):
- Kewaunee, 31%
- Door, 15.5%
- Wisconsin, 7.1%
Total positive tests:
- Kewaunee, 2,796, one in every 7.4 residents
- Door: 2,740, one in every 11 residents
Total negative tests:
- Kewaunee, 10,611
- Door: 16,199
Cumulative positivity rate since testing began:
- Kewaunee, 20.9%
- Door, 14.5%
Positive tests per 100,000 residents over past 21 days:
- Kewaunee, 160
- Door, 100
Deaths from COVID-19 complications:
- Kewaunee, 35, none in past 19 weeks
- Door, 30, none in past three weeks
- Kewaunee, 38; was 5 as of July 30
- Door, 124; was 16 as of Aug. 2
- Kewaunee, 2,723
- Door, N/A
Total vaccines given:
- Kewaunee (including other providers besides health department), 8,986 (44%) received at least one dose, 8,497 (41.6%) completed their cycles
- Door (including other providers besides health department), 19,045 (68.8%) received at least one dose, second-highest percentage in state (Dane County has 71.8%), 18,271 (66%) completed, second-most in state (Dane has 68.8%)
- Wisconsin, 3,138,889 (53.9%) at least one dose, 2,953,507 (50.9%) completed
Vaccines for ages 18 and older:
- Kewaunee, 8,548 (53.3%) at least one dose, 8,152 (51.8%) completed
- Door, 18,249 (78.8%) at least one dose, 17,612 (76%) completed
Vaccine doses given in past three weeks:
- Kewaunee, 375 first doses, 135 completed; for adults, 293 first doses, 127 completed
- Door, 382 first doses, 266 completed; for adults, 291 first doses, 215 completed
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: COVID-19: Kewaunee, Door counties see numbers rise to pre-vaccination levels