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COVID-19 cases rising again in Chippewa Co.

Chippewa County has already seen 27 positive COVID-19 cases this week through Tuesday, which is...
Chippewa County has already seen 27 positive COVID-19 cases this week through Tuesday, which is already more than all of last week’s 22 cases.(WEAU)
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 9:54 AM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - As COVID-19 cases rise around the United States and across Wisconsin in recent days, the same trend is occurring in Chippewa County as well.

In this week’s COVID-19 situation report from the Chippewa County Department of Public Health, Director and Health Officer Angela Weideman said that the county has already seen 27 positive cases this week, which is already more than all of last week’s 22 cases.

Weideman added that the trends in Wisconsin and in the U.S. have been slight increases in the number of positive COVID-19 cases.

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 886 new COVID-19 cases across Wisconsin, the most since February 12.

Chippewa County also recorded its first death due to COVID-19 in nearly a month this week, bringing the pandemic total to 94.

Weideman said she shares the concerns of other top public health officials that the case trend has not been positive as of late.

“I do share those concerns, because things are moving in the wrong direction,” said Weideman.

Some good news came from this week’s situation report, however. There are no active hospitalizations in Chippewa Co. due to COVID-19, said Weideman. Since the pandemic started, 240 county residents have been hospitalized for COVID-19.

Additionally, no new cases of the B.1.1.7, or U.K., COVID-19 variant have been identified, leaving the county’s case total for variants at five. However, Weideman qualified that number by adding that not every positive COVID-19 test is also tested as to whether it is a variant case or not.

New studies have shown the U.K. variant to spread more easily than the regular strain of COVID-19 among children and young adults, as well as spreading more easily in general. That’s why recommendations are still in place to wear masks, socially distance, and sanitize after contact, said Weideman.

On Wednesday, the CDC indicated the U.K. variant is most prevalent in the United States. Outbreaks of the variant have been most common in youth activities and child care centers, including an outbreak in southern Wisconsin on Tuesday that resulted in 35 positive cases tied to the variant.

“The risk level remains high in Chippewa County,” said Weideman.

A public COVID-19 testing site is being operated by the National Guard at the Lafayette Town Hall on 197th Street in Chippewa Falls on Wednesday, April 7 from 1 until 4 p.m. The cost is free, and registration is recommended but not required.

Large events are on tap for the spring and summer months, but guidance from the CDC, Wisconsin DHS, and locally suggests that hosts and attendees consider the risks before participating in mass gatherings. As of Wednesday, large gatherings are to be avoided according to guidance from public health officials.

In addition to limiting gatherings and implementing social distancing and masking, Weideman said that people should continue to wear a mask in all public places.

COVID-19 vaccination appointments are available in the county for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for residents ages 18 and over, said Weideman. To register for an appointment, you can go here to the CCDPH’s COVID-19 vaccine registration website.

For residents ages 16 and 17, the CCDPH is referring them to providers of the Pfizer vaccine, the only vaccine approved for emergency use in the U.S. for children of those ages.

As of Tuesday, 33.6% of Chippewa Co. residents had received one dose of the vaccine and 22.1% of residents had completed the vaccination series. The number includes 79.1% of residents ages 65 and over that have received one dose of the vaccine.

Weideman concluded the situation report with information on community efforts to educate and inform those who may be unable to receive the vaccine, to do in-home vaccinations for home-bound individuals, and to use funding awarded by the Wisconsin DHS to promote health equity and to provide vaccination materials in multiple languages.

CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - The Chippewa County Department of Public Health is scheduled to hold a COVID-19 situation report at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Angela Weideman, Director and Health Officer of the CCDPH, will conduct the update.

To watch the livestream, click here.

This week’s update comes after COVID-19 vaccine eligibility was expanded to include all Wisconsin residents 16 and over on Monday. The update also is one day ahead of FEMA opening a mass vaccination clinic at Zorn Arena at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire on Thursday.

Details about the report will be updated here.

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