Chippewa Co. moves to severe risk category of COVID-19 spread
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - Chippewa County is now in the severe risk category for COVID-19 spread, according to the Chippewa County Department of Public Health.
Increasing case counts in western Wisconsin and within Chippewa Co, as well as trends showing that virus spread is also increasing, has resulted in the designation of the county being at severe risk for COVID-19 spread after over two months at high risk.
Angela Weideman, Director and Health Officer of the CCDPH, said that the numbers are moving in the wrong direction. According the Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 disease activity dashboard, Chippewa Co. is one of over two dozen counties in the state seeing a growing number of cases, placing the county in the high case activity category.
Weideman said that 19 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the past week. 74 confirmed cases have been reported in Chippewa County in April, according to the Wisconsin DHS. No new COVID-19 deaths were reported this week.
Vaccine distribution in Chippewa Co. has been slightly behind the state average, as 38.6% of county residents have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine, short of the state percentage of 40.4%. However, Chippewa Co. is outpacing the state when it comes to residents that are fully vaccinated, with 29% of the county’s population completing the vaccination series compared to 28.1% statewide.
On Wednesday, Prevea Health announced that they would no longer require apartments at its Chippewa Falls community vaccination clinic located at Jacob’s Well Church. Walk-ins are also accepted at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s FEMA-supported mass vaccination clinic.
Weideman said that the sign outside of the Chippewa Co. Courthouse is accurate, and that anyone is welcome to walk in to receive their free COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’re at that level where we can fill appointments for the vaccine,” said Weideman. “I do think we’re getting to close to the point where we’re not able to fill all of our slots.”
One way to make receiving the vaccine easier for people is to allow walk-ins at the county’s vaccination clinic in Chippewa Falls.
“You’re welcome to come in and get a vaccine without an appointment,” said Weideman, adding that there are vaccines available due to no-shows and an abundant supply of the vaccine.
Weideman said that there has been a slight decrease of demand for the vaccine in Chippewa Co., but noted that over 76% of the county’s population ages 65 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
“We noticed that people over 65 and those with pre-existing conditions were eager to get the vaccine,” said Weideman.
During the situation report, Weideman said that Chippewa Co. vaccination clinics were fully booked as of this week, but the CCDPH is offering a standby list for residents who would like to receive the Moderna vaccine, which can be accessed on the CCDPH website or by clicking here.
For residents who prefer to receive the Pfizer vaccine, they can register for their dose on the Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services website for the FEMA mass vaccination clinic at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Walk-ins are being accepted at the UW-Eau Claire clinic, located at Zorn Arena. The mass vaccination clinic in Rice Lake at UW-Eau Claire’s Barron County campus, which opened this week, is also accepting appointments for Wisconsin residents ages 16 and over. The Rice Lake clinic is also administering the Pfizer vaccine.
In addition to the free vaccinations, Chippewa Co. is holding a free COVID-19 testing site on Wednesday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Lafayette Town Hall in Chippewa Falls. Registration is recommended, but not required, and is available to anyone ages 1 and over. Weideman said that it is recommended to get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19, but it is not required to receive a free test.
You can view the full state dashboard below for vaccines or by clicking here.
For more information on COVID-19 cases and vaccine distribution in Chippewa Co., you can click here.
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - The Chippewa County Dept. of Public Health is holding a COVID-19 Situation Update on Wednesday at 10 a.m.
You can watch the update by going here. Angela Weideman, Director and Health Officer with the CCDPH, will conduct the update.
North of Chippewa County, a new mass COVID-19 vaccination site opened in Rice Lake on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden is pushing for more COVID-19 vaccination as the United States crossed 200 million doses administered.
Last week, Weideman said that area clinics couldn’t fill available appointments for COVID-19 vaccines.
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