COVID-19 update: Positivity rates, vaccinations rise in Door, Kewaunee counties
The surge in positive COVID-19 cases continued over the past two weeks in Door and Kewaunee counties, but the number of vaccines given in both counties rose sharply in that time after they were disconcertingly low in the first two weeks of November.
According to Wisconsin Department of Health Services data, 208 Door County residents completed their vaccination cycles between Nov. 16 and 29, whether the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot, and 341 received their first doses. That compares to 16 completed cycles and 40 first doses administered between Nov. 1 and 15.
Vaccination figures similarly ramped up in Kewaunee County, with 188 people completing their cycles and 135 getting their first doses in the past two weeks after 21 finished their vaccinations and 44 received first doses in the first two weeks of the month.
Overall in Door County, 70.9% of all residents and 80.8% of adults have completed the vaccination cycle, continuing to rank second to Dane County (72.6% and 84.1%, respectively) in the percentage of its residents that have been vaccinated in Wisconsin. In Kewaunee County, 47.3% of all residents and 57% of adults completed their cycles, both figures among the bottom 15 of the state's 72 counties.
Cindy Kinnard, director of the Kewaunee County Public Health Department, said the increase in vaccines most likely is because they recently were approved for ages 5 to 11 and parents are bringing in their children to get their shots. Also recently approved were booster shots, which previously had limited eligibility, for anyone ages 18 and older, and people who already were vaccinated have come in for the booster.
Kinnard also felt the holiday season might be driving some people to get their vaccinations.
"With the holidays coming, some people feel it is important to vaccinate prior to getting together with family and friends in large groups," Kinnard said.
The increase in vaccinations in both counties comes against a backdrop of rising COVID-19 cases, though. For the two weeks from Nov. 16 to 29, Door County reported 138 new positive tests for the virus and Kewaunee County 121, compared to 106 and 116 over the two previous weeks.
The rate of positive tests, one of main metrics used by many health organizations to gauge the spread of the virus in a community, also rose dramatically in each county. In the past two weeks, 40.8% of all tests for the virus in Kewaunee County came back positive, compared to 31.9% in the first two weeks of November, while 33.3% of all tests in Door County in the past two weeks were positive, compared to 21.5% over the two previous weeks. Kewaunee County's positivity rate hasn't been below 30% in a given week since the first week of August, when it was 11.8%.
Both counties remain with a "very high" rating for COVID-19 activity from the DHS. The number of counties in Wisconsin rated "critically high" increased from 16 two weeks ago to 30, including neighboring Brown and Manitowoc counties, while all of the state's other 42 counties are rated "very high."
Kewaunee County's burden (the number of positive cases per 100,000 people in the county) increased from 824 two weeks ago to 906, remaining at a "very high" level, and its trajectory (the rate of change in the number of positive cases in a two-week period) falls in the "Growing" category, increasing from 46% to 74% growth.
Door County also saw its burden grow significantly, from 499 cases per 100,000 people to 670, but its trajectory continued with no significant change, meaning between 10% growth and 10% decrease.
Kinnard blamed much of the rise in positive cases in Kewaunee County on the Delta variant of the virus and its impact on children who, because vaccines only recently became available to them, are more susceptible to catching it.
"(The Delta variant) has a more significant effect on children," Kinnard said. "We are seeing kids become positive and it is then spreading throughout the entire household."
Appointments are required for COVID-19 vaccines given by the Kewaunee County Public Health Department, which gives the shots Tuesdays and Fridays for ages 12 and older at its office. The department also is scheduling vaccine clinics for ages 5 to 11 and is open to giving vaccinations on location at local businesses, work sites or farms. For appointments or more information, call 920-388-7160.
For appointments or more information on vaccine clinics offered throughout Door County by the Door County Public Health Department, 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 Nov. 29 (provided by the county and state health departments) are as follows:
Positive tests since Nov. 16 (includes probable cases):
- Kewaunee County, 72 in past week, 121 in past two weeks
- Door County, 54 in past week, 138 in two weeks
Negative tests since Nov. 16:
- Kewaunee, 175
- Door, 276
Percentage of positive tests since Nov. 16 (positivity rate):
- Kewaunee, 40.8%, up from 31.9%
- Door, 33.3%, up from 21.5%
- Wisconsin, 10.5%
Total positive tests:
- Kewaunee, 3,960, one in every 5.2 residents
- Door: 4,130, one in every 7.3 residents
Total negative tests:
- Kewaunee, 12,132
- Door: 18,926
Cumulative positivity rate since testing began:
- Kewaunee, 24.6%
- Door, 17.9%
Deaths from COVID-19 complications:
- Kewaunee, 43, none in past two weeks
- Door, 34, none in past two weeks
- Kewaunee, 88; was 88 as of Nov. 15
- Door, 314; was 368 as of Nov. 15
Total vaccines given:
- Kewaunee (including other providers besides health department), 9,963 (48.8%) received at least one dose, 9,659 (47.3%) completed their cycles
- Door (including other providers besides health department), 20,696 (74.8%) received at least one dose, second-highest percentage in state (Dane 75.7%), 19,628 (70.9%) completed their cycles, second-most in state (Dane 71.7%)
- Wisconsin, 3,430,973 (58.9%) at least one dose, 3,264,064 (56.1%) completed their cycles
Vaccines for ages 18 and older:
- Kewaunee, 9,421 (58.7%) received at least one dose, 9,140 (57%) completed their cycles
- Door, 19,734 (85.2%) received at least one dose, 18,722 (80.8%) completed their cycles
Vaccine doses given in past two weeks:
Kewaunee, 135 first doses, 188 completed their cycles; for adults, 125 first doses, 176 completed
Door, 341 first doses, 208 completed their cycles; for adults, 321 first doses, 196 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: Positivity rates, vaccinations rise in Door, Kewaunee counties