Submitted by the Monroe County Health Department
The number of Covid-19 cases in Monroe County continues to rise at an alarming rate. The county is rated in the “high” risk level of community transmission for Covid-19, according to the CDC Covid-19 Data Tracker. The CDC recommends that all individuals age 2 and older in areas of substantial or high transmission, regardless of vaccination status, continue to wear a mask when in indoor public spaces and at indoor gatherings. The CDC also recommends universal indoor masking for all K-12 teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.
This recommendation from public health officials follows a continued increase in Covid-19 cases in Monroe County, likely due to the Delta variant, which has been spreading rapidly across the nation. During the week of Aug. 24–31, Monroe County saw 155 new Covid-19 cases, a significant increase from 35 new cases during the first week of the month. The month of August 2021 resulted in 436 total new cases. This time last year, Monroe County saw just 75 total new cases for August 2020.
Do your part to help stop the spread of Covid-19 in our community.
Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, even if he or she is vaccinated, should stay at home and get tested. To find out where you can get tested locally, go to https://healthymonroecowi.org/covid-19/.
Layered levels of protection continue to be recommended to help slow the rate of transmission. Wisconsin DHS provides the following guidance on the best practices to keep everyone safe:
• Get vaccinated
• Wear a mask
• Stay at least 6 feet away from other people when possible
• Wash hands frequently
• Get tested if you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
• Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces when possible
• If you choose to attend a gathering, keep it small, preferably outdoors, and only with one other household
If you are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19, DHS continues to advise against attending and hosting gatherings with people who do not live with you and who are not fully vaccinated. Gathering with other unvaccinated people you do not live with is still considered a high-risk activity that contributes to the spread of Covid-19.
For more information on Wisconsin DHS recommendations, visit https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19.
Covid-19 vaccines are a safe and effective tool to help reduce the severity of illness and risk of hospitalization with COVID-19.
On Aug. 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and will now be marketed as Comirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee) for the prevention of Covid-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency-use authorization, including for individuals 12–15 years old and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals. For more information on the FDA approval, visit https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-first-covid-19-vaccine
Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced on Sept. 3 that eligibility for the $100 COVID-19 Vaccine Reward Program will be extended to Sept. 19. The program opened August 20 and is available to anyone ages 12 and up in Wisconsin who gets their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Sept. 19.
To receive the $100 U.S. Bank Rewards card, Wisconsin residents will need to fill out the form available at 100.wisconsin.gov or call 844-684-1064 to register over the phone. Information submitted will be used to verify that individuals have a valid first Covid-19 vaccine dose reported to the Wisconsin Immunization Registry (WIR) between Aug. 20 and Sept. 19. Rewards cards will be mailed to the individual’s Wisconsin address and may take six to eight weeks to be mailed to participants.
The Monroe County Health Department is offering free Covid-19 vaccines at our office location, 315 W. Oak St., Sparta. If you would like to receive a Covid-19 vaccine, visit https://vaccinate.wi.gov to schedule an appointment online, or call us at (608) 269-8666. Walk-in appointments are available during business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday).