COVID-19 update: Door County asks for tracing, notification help as positive cases surge there and in Kewaunee County
The Door County Health and Human Services Department is asking for the community's help to combat the ongoing surge of the COVID-19 virus as, driven by the omicron variant of the virus, the number of positive tests in Door and Kewaunee counties is skyrocketing to levels not seen in more than a year.
The number of positive tests in the two counties on a weekly basis actually decreased over the past week when compared to the holiday week immediately before, but they're still at levels unseen since the peak of the pandemic in October and November of 2020, before vaccines against the virus became available.
According to Wisconsin Department of Health Services figures, Door County recorded 319 positives from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2, dropping slightly to 280 from Jan. 3 to 9 but part of a four-week run of 1,065 cases since Dec. 13, an average of 266 a week. The 319 positive results is a one-week record for the Peninsula since testing began in the spring of 2020, with the previous weekly high figure being 284 between Nov. 10 and 17, 2020, part of a three-week string with more than 200 new cases a week.
Kewaunee County also set a record high for positive cases over the holiday week with 180 positives recorded from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2, although the number fell notably to 110 from Jan. 3 to 9. It's seen 520 positives since Dec. 13, an average of 130 a week over a four-week span; the county saw 10 straight weeks and 11 of 12 in fall 2020 of more than 100 new cases a week, including a record 163 from Nov. 3 to 10.
And over the past month, from Dec. 13 to Jan. 9, the percentage of tests for the virus coming back as positive, aka the positivity rate, also has skyrocketed to record figures in the two counties. The rate is one of the metrics used by many health organizations to determine how easily the virus is spreading in a community.
Kewaunee County's positivity rate for that four-week period is 58.7% while Door County's is 56.8%.
And the number of vaccines administered in the two counties has slowed again, after picking up their pace during the recent spread of the virus' delta variant.
Over the four weeks from Dec. 13 to Jan. 9, 403 first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and 351 completed vaccination cycles were given to Door County residents, according to the state DHS, compared to 507 first doses and 285 completed cycles in the two preceding weeks, or half the time period. Similarly, Kewaunee County residents received 212 first doses and 184 completed processes over the past month versus 379 first doses and 273 completed cycles in the two preceding weeks.
Both counties remain on the DHS's "critically high" list for their level of COVID-19 activity. The state ratings cover a two-week period and 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.
For the most recent rating period, Door County registered a burden of 1,725.4, seventh-highest in the state, and its trajectory is in the "Growing" category. Kewaunee County has a burden of 1,429 and its trajectory also is "Growing." Currently, 47 of the state's 72 counties are rated at "critically high" while the other 25 are "very high" for COVID-19 activity, and all but seven counties are given "Growing" trajectories.
Because of the significant increase in cases, the Door County health department posted a statement on its webpage and Facebook page asking for help with contact tracing and notifying contacts of positive tests.
"Because of (the increase) we simply do not have capacity to call all new COVID-19 cases in a timely manner, and we need our community's help," the statement said. It noted:
- The department sends important information via email or regular mail to all new cases, so those who have been tested should look for that information.
- Those who have tested positive should isolate for at least five days since symptoms began, or for five days from their test date if there are no symptoms.
- They should notify their own close contacts, their employer and child care center.
- If the health department calls, people should answer the phone or return the call.
Appointments are required for COVID-19 vaccines given by the Kewaunee County Public Health Department, which gives the shots Tuesdays and Fridays for ages 5 and older at its office. The department also 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.
RELATED: Door County Medical Center implements visitor restrictions because of a 'critically high' level of COVID-19
MORE: Law enforcement leaders from Door, Kewaunee counties make their case for more resources
FOR MORE KEWAUNEE COUNTY NEWS: Check out our homepage
FOR MORE DOOR COUNTY NEWS: Check out our homepage
Statistics as of Jan. 9 (provided by the county and state health departments) are as follows:
Positive tests (includes probable cases):
- Kewaunee County, 180 from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2; 110 from Jan. 3 to 9, 520 since Dec. 13
- Door County, 319 from Dec. 26 to Jan. 2; 280 from Jan. 3 to 9, 1,065 since Dec. 13
Negative tests since Dec. 13:
- Kewaunee, 520
- Door, 1,065
Percentage of positive tests since Dec. 13 (positivity rate):
- Kewaunee, 58.7%, up from 27.5%
- Door, 56.8%, up from 24%
Total positive tests:
- Kewaunee, 4,854, one in every 4.2 residents
- Door: 5,461, one in every 5.5 residents
Total negative tests:
- Kewaunee, 12,702
- Door, 20,069
Deaths from COVID-19 complications:
- Kewaunee, 44, one in past four weeks
- Door, 42, four in past four weeks
Hospitalizations from the virus:
- Kewaunee, 9
- Door, 19
Total vaccines given:
- Kewaunee (including other providers besides health department), 10,545 (51.7%) received at least one dose, 10,116 (49.6%) completed their cycles
- Door (including other providers besides health department), 21,605 (77.5%) received at least one dose, third-highest percentage in state (Dane 81.2%, Menominee 78.6%), 20,264 (72.7%) both doses, third-most in state (Dane 76.4%, Menominee 74.3%)
- Wisconsin, 3,647,378 (62.5%) at least one dose, 3,413,300 (58.5%) completed their cycles
Vaccine doses given in past four weeks:
- Kewaunee, 212 first doses, 184 completed their cycles
- Door, 403 first doses, 351 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 asks for tracing, notification help as positive cases surge there and in Kewaunee County