Health departments urge vaccines and continued virus mitigation as case numbers rise

Posted at 6:39 PM, Apr 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 19:39:05-04

As Wisconsin's number of active COVID-19 cases tick up, health departments have reported varying trends.

In Walworth County, where new cases are on the rise, the local health officer said it has not been a significant increase.

"We've seen a small rise over the last month, from an average of about three new cases a day to eight new cases a day. But that's still significantly less than our peak in November," said Walworth County Health Officer Erica Bergstrom, who added they are watching the case trajectory closely.

"It's really important for people to just continue to use those practices that we have for controlling the spread, so that we don't reach a point where we're seeing significant increase: masking, social distancing, staying home when you're sick, washing your hands frequently," Bergstrom said.

Jefferson County's Health Department reported their rise in COVID-19 cases.

"Over the past several weeks we've seen a really significant increase, and not just a significant increase, but really rapid increase in cases," said Samroz Jakvani, epidemiologist and public information officer for Jefferson County Health Department.

The county reported a 40 percent increase from one two-week period to another.

"What that tells us is that's likely event-driven, so folks going for spring break. A number of those cases are also related to isolated outbreaks at two of our schools, so we had about 15 to 20 cases linked to those outbreaks specifically. They were really isolated to the sports teams," said Jakvani.

Jakvani added that cases outside of those isolated outbreaks are also propelling their numbers.

"It feels like a small step backward, but nothing insurmountable and nothing we know the residents of Jefferson County can't come back from," said Jakvani.

Neither Jefferson nor Walworth counties have detected variants. However, the state only tests a fraction of all cases for variants.

Both Jakvani and Bergstrom said it is certainly possible or likely that variants are already in the community, given how quickly they have moved in other areas.

They encourage more people to get vaccinated to help control the spread.

Jakvani reiterated that individuals are not considered fully vaccinated until 10 days after their second Pfizer or Moderna dose or 10 days after their one Johnson & Johnson dose.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip

Coronavirus in Wisconsin

More data on Wisconsin's vaccination progress here.

Find a vaccination site here.

Check out county-by-county coronavirus case numbers here.

More information: COVID-19 on the Wisconsin DHS website

Latest news and headlines here.