COVID-19 cases on the rise in Chippewa County; 23% of active cases are children

Angela Weideman of the Chippewa County Department of Public Health provides an update on...
Angela Weideman of the Chippewa County Department of Public Health provides an update on COVID-19 in Chippewa County, Wisconsin on September 2, 2021.(Chippewa County Department of Public Health (via Zoom))
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 10:50 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 places the county in 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 said that Chippewa County has crossed 50% of residents who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The DHS said Wednesday that 50.2% of Chippewa County residents had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 47.5% of residents had completed the vaccination series. Among adults, 61.0% of Chippewa County residents received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 58.1% had completed their vaccination series. Following medical provider’s advice is the best course of action when it comes to dealing with COVID-19, Weideman said, especially when it comes to approved treatments for the virus. The FDA and CDC have recommended against the use of ivermectin in mitigating COVID-19 symptoms or prevention of catching the virus.

Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are on the rise in Chippewa County, Weideman said. In addition to rising cases, 10 residents in the county are currently hospitalized and two people have died due to COVID-19 in the county in the past week. 95 to 98% of hospitalizations locally are for unvaccinated people, which lines up with national figures, Weideman. 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 560 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 most other counties in Wisconsin.

None of the hospitalizations in Chippewa County are children, Weideman said. All of the schools in Chippewa County have been working with the health department on COVID-19 mitigation plans, but an uptick in cases in August among children has been noticed, and some children are already in quarantine before classes even began, Weideman said. Over 23%, or 69 cases total, of active COVID-19 cases in Chippewa County are children ages 18 and under. The county’s largest school district, Chippewa Falls Area United School District, has opted for a mask-optional policy, as have many smaller districts in the area, but the CFAUSD has also implemented other measures to limit virus spread.

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. 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.

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 26 and are now held weekly until further notice. More COVID-19 information for Chippewa County can be found on the CCDPH website.

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