That does not seem to be entirely accurate as the largest mass-testing event in Grant County to-date only led to a handful of new positive tests, a percentage of the jump in positives the county has seen in the past week.
Another week, another jump in the number of positive tests of Grant County residents with COVID-19, as this week the county has surpassed the 200 mark of positive tests, and now has its 14th death.
That death was announced Wednesday, with Grant County Health Director only saying the person was under the age of 50 - he would not disclose anything closer to that age, citing privacy concerns. That makes the youngest death yet of a county resident, as the 13th death was in their 60s, while the first 12 were above the age of 70.
As of Wednesday, the Grant County Health Department reported three new positive tests for the day, bringing the total to 229 of residents who tested positive. That is a jump of 43 in the past week, up from 180 the week before, and an increase of 67 in the past two weeks.Of that increase of 43, only seven came from the public testing event in Lancaster held July 8, where 560 individuals, not all from Grant County, were tested. Lancaster’s testing event was the largest in the county thus far, surpassing testing events in Boscobel and Platteville.
“We have seen cases that were infectious while in settings such as restaurants, bars, gyms, weddings, birthday parties, group campfires, youth and adult sporting league events, daycares, government offices, other business, and yes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities,” said Grant County Health Director Jeff Kindrai.
As a result of the increased activity, the Grant County Health Department advises that everyone who can, wear a cloth face covering or a mask if they are around others from outside of their household.
This applies both indoors or outdoors if social/physical distancing of at least six feet cannot be maintained at all times. This advisement applies to anyone three and older that is medically able to wear a cloth face covering or a mask. Those with severe lung disease/difficulty breathing and people who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance, as well as individuals with certain mental health conditions should not wear a mask. Consult your primary care provider if you are uncertain if you can wear a cloth face covering or a mask.
to wear a cloth face covering or a mask. Those with severe lung disease/difficulty breathing and people who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance, as well as individuals with certain mental health conditions should not wear a mask.
Consult your primary care provider if you are uncertain if you can wear a cloth face covering or a mask.
Kindrai continued that unfortunately, many businesses are finding it difficult to remain open after having positive cases or even after having contacts to positive cases who work at, or patronize their establishments.
“We need to keep our businesses open, but if we do not see more people behaving responsibly and thinking of others, more people will get sick, more businesses will close, and more people will die,” Kindrai stated.
With 145 people recovered from illness, and the county holding at 13 deaths, the total number of active cases is 63, an increase of 15 of the number of active cases in the county.
The health department reported that they have done follow-up work on 964 close contacts to positive COVID-19 cases since March.
The number of active outbreaks the county is reviewing remains at eight. Active outbreaks are if a care facility has had a resident or employee test positive within a 28-day window, or at least two employees at any workplace test positive within a 28-day window.
The Health Department, in their daily releases to the public on social media, shows that there is some shortages of personal protective equipment in the county, but does not give details as to where.
Kindrai said there is some good news for the moment, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 are relatively low at this time in Grant County and the number of deaths of individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 has remained stable. That may change however, given the number of new cases and the widening of the age range of new cases. There are also some indications that some vaccines may start to become available in October, but that is not a certainty.
There was a public testing event held in Cassville on July 15. Additional testing sites are scheduled for Wednesday, July 22 in Cuba City, Wednesday, July 29 in Muscoda and Wednesday, August 5, 10AM-5:30PM at the Grant County Fairgrounds, 916 E. Elm Street, Lancaster. Locations for Cuba City and Muscoda are pending. Please note the National Guard will be calling individuals with negative results. Therefore, individuals should consider accepting calls from unknown numbers for a few days after a testing event if they attended. The National Guard will ask for and verify certain information before giving the result.
Elsewhere, Lafayette County increased from 76 July 6 to 81 Monday. Lafayette County has the highest rate per 1,000 population in Southwest Wisconsin, 4.84 cases. Iowa County increased from 37 July 6 to 45 Monday, 1.91 cases per 1,000 population.
Green County increased from 100 July 6 to 110 Monday, 2.98 cases per 1,000 population. Crawford County increased from 41 July 6 to 45 Monday, 2.76 cases per 1,000 population. Richland County increased from 15 cases July 6 to 17 Monday, 0.97 cases per 1,000 population.
Richland County with four deaths, and Green County with one death over the past week.
Over the past week COVID-19 diagnoses statewide increased from 32,061 July 6 to 36,942 Monday, and the number of deaths increased from 796 July 6 to 820 Monday, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS). No deaths had been reported since Saturday.
According to DHS 79 percent of those diagnosed with COVID-19 have recovered — 28,318 Wisconsinites as of Monday. The number of cases that have been diagnosed in the past 30 days have increased to 6,018 to 7,447, 19 percent of total cases.
The DHS’ Badger Bounce Back COVID-19 Case Indicators, which classify counties as high-, moderate- or low-risk based on COVID activity over the previous two weeks, listed Grant, Green, Lafayette, Iowa and Crawford counties as “moderately high risk,” while Richland County was listed as low-risk. Lafayette and Iowa counties were previously listed as high risk, while Green and Crawford counties were previously listed as medium-risk.