DRIFTLESS - Over the past week COVID-19, diagnoses statewide increased from 580,184 on Monday, Apr. 5 to 585,710 on Monday, Apr. 12. That is a statewide increase of 5,526 cases. The number of deaths increased from 6,640 to 6,680, an additional 40 deaths, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS).
According to the Monday, April 12 issue of Up North News, the state Department of Health Services (DHS) reported 10 deaths from COVID-19 from Friday through Sunday, raising the state's pandemic death toll to 6,677.
The seven-day average number of new COVID-19 cases had risen for nine consecutive days until Sunday. Hospitalizations remained stable over the weekend.
Vaccine providers in parts of Wisconsin are putting out the word that it's never been easier to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination.
Crawford County Public Health Nurse Cindy Riniker reports that demand for vaccine in the county seems to be down, and may result in her department reducing their orders for vaccine. Riniker strongly encourages all county residents over the age of 16 to get vaccinated so the county can reach herd immunity of 80 percent of citizen vaccinated, and restriction on gatherings in the county can be loosened.
The Crawford County Health Department continues to strongly advise that residents wear a mask while in public spaces. Individuals should wear masks or face coverings that cover their mouth and nose when around non-household members following current State and CDC guidance. In general, this means masking when around others who are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or are of unknown vaccination status with few exceptions (https://www.cdc.gov/.../vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html). It is important to note that businesses and schools can still require masks without a State order. For additional information visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html
UPDATE: Crawford County Public Health has announced Pfizer Vaccination Clinics set for next week in Prairie du Chien:
• April 21, 4:30-5 p.m.
• April 22, 10:45-11:20 a.m.)
Register at https://www.crawfordcountywi.org/health.html
Or call their office at 608-326-0229
As of Thursday, April 8, two million Wisconsin residents had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
As of April 12, 38.6 percent (6,222) of Crawford County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 28.3 percent (4,559) residents have completed the vaccine series
In Vernon County, 36.3 percent (11,174) have received at least one dose, and 25.1 percent (7,749) have received two doses.
In Richland County, 37.9 percent (6,546) have received at least one dose, and 27.7 percent (4,776) have received two doses.
In Grant County, 33.8 percent (17,407) have received at least one dose, and 23.2 percent (12,196) have received two doses.
With everyone ages 16 and older now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) encourages everyone to schedule an appointment. Anyone that lives, works, or studies in Wisconsin can get vaccinated for free—even if you cannot provide proof of residency, do not have a valid state identification, or do not have insurance.
“This pandemic has proven that our health is connected with the health of everyone in our community. COVID-19 is a contagious virus that spreads from person to person but the vaccine helps stop the spread. The more people that are vaccinated, the more protected Wisconsin is from the virus. That is why our biggest priority is to get 80 percent of Wisconsin vaccinated,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. “To achieve that community immunity, we must work to remove barriers that prevent Wisconsinites from accessing the vaccine. If you don’t have an ID or insurance, you will not be turned away.”
COVID-19 vaccines are readily available at Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien. Appointments can be made by calling 608-357-2500 or visiting crossingrivers.org/vaccine. Everyone in Wisconsin age 16 and older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost. To date, Crossing Rivers Health has only received the Moderna vaccine, which is authorized for use in people who are 18 years of age and older. Those who are 16 or 17 years old may be added to our waiting list and will be contacted if we receive the Pfizer vaccine in the future.
At the Crawford County Public Health vaccine registration website individuals can schedule an appointment, and know what vaccine they will be giving before signing up. Clinic schedules will open mid-week for the following week clinics.
To register for upcoming COVID-19 clinics go to https://www.crawfordcountywi.org/health.html or call our office at 608-326-0229.
According to the LaCrosse Tribune, Gundersen researchers have now identified five variants strains of COVID-19 that are circulating in the LaCrosse area. Two new California variants join the three variants that have been monitored most closely by CDC and DHS – the UK, South Africa and Brazil variants.
Half or more of samples recently sequenced from positive cases are of five worrisome variants being closely tracked, and cases overall are growing most among people 18 and younger, said Dr. Ryan Westergaard, a chief medical officer at the state Department of Health Services.
“We are in a new phase of the epidemic that is clearly worse than we were before, and it’s transmission among young people who are driving the change in the curve,” said Westergaard, who noted that schools are reopening and youth sports and other activities are resuming.
As of Sunday, April 11, there are 21,865 cases of the three COVID-19 variants in the United States, up 8,813 (68 percent) over the past week. Those are the United Kindom (B.1.1.7), South African (B.188.8.131.52), and Brazil (P.1) variants.
Twenty-four states have all three variants circulating in their populations. Those states include Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, Massachussetts, Colorado, Georgia, California, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio, New Jersey, Texas, Washington, Indiana, Arizona, Mississippi, Washington D.C., Maine, Oklahoma and Alaska.
Variant B.1.1.7 was first discovered in England in November of 2020. The variant was first reported in the United States in December 2020 and was first identified in Wisconsin in January 2021.
There are 20,915 cases of the United Kingdom variant in 52 states and territories, an increase of 8,410 cases (67 percent). As of Sunday, April 11, there are 148 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in Wisconsin. There are 550 confirmed cases in Illinois, 526 confirmed cases in Minnesota, 1,573 confirmed cases in Michigan, and 223 confirmed cases in Iowa. Michigan remains second in the nation for UK variant cases in the last week, exceeded only by Florida with 3,510 cases.
B.1.351 (S. Africa)
Variant B.1.351 was first discovered in South Africa in samples dating back to October 2020.
There are 453 cases of the South Africa variant in 36 states, an increase of 130 (40 percent), including 15 in Wisconsin and nine in Illinois, 26 in Minnesota, and nine in Michigan.
Variant P.1 was first discovered in four travelers from Brazil who were tested at an airport near Tokyo, Japan in early January 2021.
There are now 497 cases of the Brazil variant in the U.S. in 31 states, an increase of 273 (122 percent), including four in Wisconsin, 93 in Illinois, and five in Minnesota, and six in Michigan.
Variant B.1.427 was first discovered in California in samples dating back to May 2020. B.1.427 cases increased significantly between September 2020 and January 2021.
Researchers have found that this strain also spreads more rapidly and easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, it is thought to be less transmissible than B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. Therapeutics, such as monoclonal antibody treatments, may be less effective on B.1.427 variant cases because of its unique mutations.
Variant B.1.429 shares many attributes with variant B.1.427, the main difference is found in its spike protein mutations.
Variant B.1.429 was first discovered in California in samples dating back to May 2020. B.1.429 cases increased significantly between September 2020 and January 2021.
Researchers have found that this strain also spreads more rapidly and easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. However, it is thought to be less transmissible than B.1.1.7 and B.1.351. Therapeutics, such as monoclonal antibody treatments, may be less effective on B.1.429 variant cases because of its unique mutations.
Crawford Countysaw no increase in cases in the last week, remaining at 1,720 confirmed cases, an increase of 13. The number of deaths remained at 17.
Crawford County Public Health continues to offer COVID-19 testing for those with no healthcare provider, no or poor insurance coverage, or part of a disease investigation. We offer this service on Monday mornings outside the administration building by appointment only. Community testing sites using National Guard personnel are available in Vernon County twice monthly, Lancaster weekly, and Gays Mills will continue with a monthly clinic.
Vernon Countysaw an increase of 12 cases in the last week, increasing to 1,892. The number deaths remained at 43.
Vernon County will continue testing every other Tuesday at the Old County Highway Shop, 602 N. Main Street, in Viroqua on April 20, May 4, May 18.
Richland Countysaw an increase of 11 cases in the last week, increasing to 1,286 total infections. The number of deaths in the remained at 15.
Monroe Countysaw an increase of 16 cases in the last week, increasing to 4,404. The number of deaths increased by one to 36.
LaCrosse Countysaw an increase in new cases of 47, increasing to 12,515. The number of deaths remained at 80.Grant Countysaw an increase of 42 cases in the last week, increasing to 4,800. The number of deaths in the county increased by one to 85.