Coronavirus RTSA

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows the appearance of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. Submitted / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

HUDSON -- COVID-19 cases are back on the rise locally, giving St. Croix County the highest rate of new cases per day by population, Epidemiologist Elle Klasen said. 

The county’s case rate was at 30.9, Klasen said at the April 6 county board meeting, the only county over a rate of 25. 

“We are seeing an increase predominantly across the board in age group,” Klasen said. 

The county is just beginning to see an increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19. Hospitalization rates are a lagging indicator, Public Health Officer Kelli Engen said, and they anticipate to see more in the immediate area within the next couple of weeks. 

With the statewide mask mandate struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Engen said the county will be issuing a health advisory later this week. The advisory will recommend the use of face masks in indoor public spaces, as well as outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. 

“Each county now has to take it upon themselves to decide what is the best way to proceed for their counties,” Engen said. 

Health recommendations will be added to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard as well. 

COVID-19 vaccinations are also on the rise in the county. The county has given more than 40,000 vaccines as of April 5. 

Vaccinations are now open to all Wisconsin residents 16 and older. Local healthcare systems are continuing to prioritize patients, Engen said, and many retail pharmacies now have vaccines. 

More vaccine is coming into the county, Engen said. St. Croix received its first shipment of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine last week.  

The county’s COVID-19 dashboard can be viewed at https://infogram.com/st-croix-county-covid-19-dashboard-1h9j6qggxzn754g?live.

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