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Chippewa County recommending limited public gatherings; COVID-19 risk level at ‘severe’

Angela Weideman of the Chippewa County Department of Public Health provided a COVID-19 update...
Angela Weideman of the Chippewa County Department of Public Health provided a COVID-19 update on Thursday, August 26, 2021.(Chippewa County Department of Public Health (via Zoom))
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 10:41 AM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) - Angela Weideman, Director and Health Official at the Chippewa County Department of Public Health, provided update on COVID-19 cases, vaccines, and testing during the health department’s COVID-19 situation report Thursday at 11 a.m. You can watch it here.

Chippewa County’s COVID-19 caseload and spread has moved the county into the severe risk category for COVID-19, which means the recommendation from the county’s health department is to limit indoor gatherings to less than 15 people and outdoor gatherings to less than 50 people with physical distancing. Masks are also recommended indoors, including at K-12 schools.

Weideman shared the latest developments in COVID-19 vaccines, noting that the Pfizer vaccine is now fully-approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration for people ages 16 and over. Additionally, Weideman shared that Wisconsin is offering a $100 incentive to get vaccinated until September 6. The health department is urging vaccinations and supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance for third-dose vaccinations for certain immunocompromised individuals.

Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District, the largest school district in Chippewa County, wrote in a letter to families this week that masks would remain optional for students, although the district would provide other COVID-19 mitigation measures.

As of Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services says that Chippewa County is experiencing very high COVID-19 case activity with a case burden of over 450 cases per 100,000 residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has Chippewa County in the highest category for COVID-19 transmission, high, along with Eau Claire and most other counties in Wisconsin.

Chippewa County holds weekly COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the court house on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. This clinic offers both the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, which are currently authorized for emergency use for people ages 18 and over. Weideman said if an individual wants to receive the Pfizer vaccine, which is also authorized for emergency use for people ages 12 to 15 and fully approved for people ages 16 and over, they can call the Chippewa County Department of Public Health at 715-492-3096 to arrange for a Pfizer vaccine. Anyone under the age of 18 will need parental consent to schedule and receive a vaccine.

The DHS said Wednesday that 49.4% of Chippewa County residents had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 46.8% of residents had completed the vaccination series. Among adults, 60.2% of Chippewa County residents received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 57.4% had completed their vaccination series.

CDC data dashboards are available on the CDC data tracker website. The DHS also has a COVID-19 data dashboard for Wisconsin on their website.

Thursday’s COVID-19 situation report is the first update on COVID-19 in Chippewa County since August 5More COVID-19 information for Chippewa County can be found on the CCDPH website.

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