COVID-19 update: Positive cases in Door, Kewaunee counties fall to levels not seen for months
The tidal wave of COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant of the virus over the past two months appears to be subsiding not just nationally but also in Door and Kewaunee counties, as the number of positive tests in the two counties over the past two weeks has plummeted to levels not seen since last summer.
According to Wisconsin Department of Health Services figures, Kewaunee County reported 67 COVID-19 cases, an average of 33.5 a week, and Door County 47, or 23.5 a week, between Feb. 8 and 22.
Those averages are the lowest figures for weekly positive cases in each county since about the end of July, shortly after the delta variant of the virus began appearing more widely to cause substantial increases in cases. From early February 2021, after COVID-19 vaccines became available locally, through the end of July, the number of weekly positive cases in each county ranged between 47 and zero, most often less than 20.
That's part of the reason the DHS upgraded Door and Kewaunee counties' rating for COVID-19 activity to "very high," compared to the "critically high" they've been for most of the past two months. The rating is given based on each county's burden, the number of positive cases per 100,000 people in the county in the given two-week period, and trajectory, the rate of change in the number of positive cases in that time.
For the most recent activity period (Feb. 2-15), Door County had a burden of 394 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 1,943 in the two previous weeks, and its trajectory was shrinking with a 40% decrease. Kewaunee County's burden was 481 and its trajectory showed no significant change.
That mirrors what's happening across the state. As of Feb. 1, every one of Wisconsin's 72 counties was rated "critically high" for COVID-19 activity, but the new ratings have all but one county at "very high" with just Douglas County in far northwestern Wisconsin at "critically high." Also, Kewaunee County is just one of 12 in the state with no significant change in trajectory, with all 60 of the others showing shrinking trajectories.
However, studies are still in the early stages to determine the effect the "stealth omicron," a recently discovered subvariant of the virus, will have on people's health and the effect vaccines and established COVID-19 treatments have on it. Technically called BA.2, the subvariant is reported to be about 1.5 times more contagious than its predecessor, and a number of health experts have said it is likely to become the dominant strain of the virus in coming months.
Health officials and doctors continue to stress that getting vaccinated and practicing other public health protocols, like wearing face masks, especially N95 or KN95 masks or masks with some sort of filtration system, remains the best option for people to stay well and slow the spread of the virus. Statistics continue to show that vaccinated people who do contract the virus are far less likely to be hospitalized because of it than unvaccinated people.
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 (boosters for ages 12 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.
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Statistics as of Feb. 22 (provided by the county and state health departments) are as follows:
Positive tests (includes probable cases):
- Kewaunee County, 67 over two weeks
- Door County, 47 over two weeks
Total positive tests:
- Kewaunee, 5,817, one in every 3.5 residents
- Door, 6,895, one in every 4.4 residents
Deaths from COVID-19 complications:
- Kewaunee, 49, two in past two weeks
- Door, 49, three in past two weeks
- Kewaunee, 2; was 21 as of Feb. 8
- Door, N/A
Total vaccines given:
- Kewaunee (including other providers besides health department), 10,697 (52.5%) received at least one dose, 10,326 (50.7%) completed their series
- Door (including other providers besides health department), 21,870 (78.4%) received at least one dose, third-highest percentage in state (Dane 82.5%, Menominee 79.9%), 20,626 (74%) completed their series, third-most in state (Dane 76.9%, Menominee 75%)
- Wisconsin, 3,722,878 (63.8%) at least one dose, 3,513,043 (60.2%) completed their series
Vaccine doses given in past two weeks:
- Kewaunee, 63 first doses, 79 completed their series
- Door, 74 first doses, 242 completed their series
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: Positive cases in Door, Kewaunee counties fall to levels not seen for months