Rock & Green counties hit high COVID-19 community levels
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Two southern Wisconsin counties jumped into the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most severe category for COVID-19 community levels. Green and Rock counties were both shaded the orange that indicated they reached high COVID-19 levels, when the Department of Health Services updated its map on Friday.
Shortly after the map updated, the Rock Co. Health Department noted the change and explained that cases have been consistently in the range where the county could cross into the CDC’s high category. An increase in hospitalizations linked to the virus pushed it across the threshold. The agency quickly noted, though, that the death rate linked to COVID-19 has not increased to the same degree.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic in Rock County has greatly improved since our peak in January 2022, the recent increase in hospitalizations is an indicator that it is time to take additional precautions as a preventative measure,” Health Officer Katrina Harwood said. The agency urged residents to wear masks indoors, stay up-to-date with vaccinations, and get tested if they start to notice symptoms.
Compared with the previous week, the number of counties in Wisconsin the CDC considers as having high community levels did not change. However, while the total remained 11, most of the counties that were high last week have fallen back to medium and most of this week’s orange counties fell into a lower category in last Friday’s report. Only four Milwaukee-area counties were considered high both weeks.
Nearly half of Wisconsin counties (34) – including Dane, Columbia, Iowa, and Sauk – now fall into the medium classification, a sharp increase from the 20 recorded last week. Conversely, the number of counties considered to have low community levels retreated just as sharply, falling from 41 to 27, the DHS map shows.
The latest DHS update also indicates state health officials recorded 1,740 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past day. With no single day in the past week tallying more than 2,000 cases, the latest report saw the seven day rolling average drop to 1,639 cases per day over the past week.
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