COVID-19 update: New positive cases fall dramatically in Kewaunee, Door counties
Kewaunee County remains at a "critically high" level for COVID-19 activity, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, but its number of positive tests for the virus has decreased dramatically over the past week from the record-high numbers seen in late September.
Door County also has seen its weekly positive test numbers cut in half in the past two weeks after averaging about 100 cases a week across the last three weeks of September.
In the past two weeks, Kewaunee County reported 107 new cases of COVID-19, 75 of those coming between Oct. 5-11 before dwindling to 32 from Oct. 12-18, according to reports from the state health department.
The last week's figure still is higher than positive test results seen in the county in the weeks throughout late spring into July, most of those in single digits, but it's a major drop from the 100-plus weekly average seen through September (403 from Sept. 3 to Oct. 4), including 152 in the final week of that period, the most the county had seen in a seven-day span since the pandemic broke out in March 2020.
And after averaging nearly 100 new cases a week for most of September (384 positives from Sept. 7 to Oct. 4), Door County reported 52 positives in the week from Oct. 5-11 and 46 from Oct. 12-18. Like Kewaunee County, the figures remain higher than they were throughout most of the spring and summer, when the weekly number of positives ranged from zero to 41, but the Peninsula saw more than 200 new positives a week at its peak last November and around or more than 100 a week through December and January, before the COVID-19 vaccine was made available.
While Kewaunee County continues to be listed by the state health department as having a "critically high" COVID-19 activity level, the most recent ratings cover the two weeks from Sept. 29 to Oct. 12. The ratings are based on the number of positive cases per 100,000 people in the county in that period, aka the burden, and the rate of change in the number of positive cases during that time, aka the trajectory.
According to the state, Kewaunee County reported a burden of 1,036.6 positive cases per 100,000 people and its trajectory was not showing significant change during those two weeks. That leaves the county as one of 16 in the state at the critically high level, down from 21 counties at the previous rating issued Sept. 28. At that time, the county's burden was 1,172.3 positives per 100,000 with a growing trajectory.
All 56 of the state's remaining counties, including Door, are rated "very high." Door County reported a burden of 766.5 cases per 100,000, down from 866.3 as of Sept. 28, and its trajectory showed no significant change in cases.
The rate of positive tests, one of the main metrics used by health organizations to gauge the spread in a community, also fell over the past two weeks: a little and still disconcertingly high in Kewaunee County, more noticeably in Door County.
Kewaunee County's positivity rate from Oct. 5-18 was 31.1%, lower than the 40% mark set during September. The rate hasn't been below 31% since the start of August, when it was 11.8% from July 26 to Aug. 4 and less than 10% for 10 weeks before that. Door County, though, saw a 9.2% positivity rate over the past two weeks, compared to 26.9% in September.
Meanwhile, the public health departments in both counties continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines, including recommended booster shots for those who at least six months ago completed their cycles for the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine offered by the counties and meet age and health qualifications. The number of vaccines administered in the two counties and across Wisconsin has stagnated in recent months, which health officials said was at least part of the reason the number of COVID-19 cases surged in late summer.
Appointments are required by the Kewaunee County health department, which gives the shots Tuesdays and Fridays; for appointments or more information, call 920-388-7160.
The Door County health department is holding drive-thru vaccine clinics from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Washington Island Airport, 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Sister Bay Fire Station and 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Brussels-Union-Gardner Fire Station. Flu vaccines also will be available during those times, and appointments are not needed except for COVID-19 vaccines on the Island.
The health department also continues to give vaccines from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays at the county Government Center, 421 Nebraska St., Sturgeon Bay, but appointments are required. For appointments or more information, call 920-746-7180 or visit bookdcph.timetap.com or co.door.wi.gov and click on the "COVID-19 Vaccine and Updates" bar at the top of the homepage.
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Statistics as of Oct. 18 (provided by the county and state health departments) are as follows:
Positive tests since Oct. 5 (includes probable cases):
- Kewaunee County, 32 in past week, 107 in past two weeks
- Door County, 46 in past week, 98 in two weeks
Negative tests in the interval:
- Kewaunee, 344
- Door, 539
Percentage of positive tests (positivity rate):
- Kewaunee, 31.1%, down from 40%
- Door, 9.2%, down from 26.9%
- Wisconsin, 8.2%
Total positive tests:
- Kewaunee, 3,512, one in every 5.8 residents
- Door: 3,690, one in every 8.1 residents
Total negative tests:
- Kewaunee, 11,561
- Door: 17,988
Deaths from COVID-19 complications:
- Kewaunee, 31, two in past four weeks
- Door, 32, one in past three weeks
Hospitalizations from the virus:
- Kewaunee, 5
- Door, 4
- Kewaunee, 81; was 100 as of Oct. 4
- Door, 452; was 411 as of Oct. 4
Total vaccines given:
- Kewaunee (including other providers besides health department), 9,670 (47.3%) received at least one dose, 9,346 (45.7%) completed their cycles.
- Door (including other providers besides health department), 20,087 (72.6%) received at least one dose, second-highest percentage in state (Dane 74.3%), 19,224 (69.5%) completed their cycles, second-most in state (Dane 71.7%)
- Wisconsin, 3,344,110 (57.4%) at least one dose, 3,185,005 (54.7%) completed their cycles
Vaccines for ages 18 and older:
- Kewaunee, 9,147 (57%) received at least one dose, 8,860 (55.2%) completed their cycles
- Door, 19,164 (82.7%) received at least one dose, 18,369 (79.3%) completed their cycles
Vaccine doses given in two weeks:
- Kewaunee, 205 first doses, 187 completed; for adults, 102 first doses, 168 completed
- Door, 256 first doses, 184 both doses; for adults, 240 first doses, 147 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 update: New positive cases fall dramatically in Kewaunee, Door counties