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COVID cases up from same time last year
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COVID cases up from same time last year

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Juneau County is seeing a large increase in cases of COVID-19 according to the Juneau County Health Officer compared to the same time frame as last year, including in juveniles, and case rates, hospitalizations and deaths are significantly higher in the unvaccinated portion of the population.

Amanda Dederich, Juneau County Health Officer, presented a COVID-19 update to the Juneau County Board of Supervisors during a meeting of the board Oct. 19.

Cases in Juneau County are once again spiking, with 216 active cases, seven hospitalizations and 22 deaths. Total cases are up to 3,392 since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the last several months Dederich said cases have increased exponentially, with 14 cases in June, 28 in July, 201 in August and 343 cases in September.

“The case rate is five times higher for those not fully vaccinated,” Dederich said. “Hospitalization is nine times higher… and deaths is 19 times higher.”

About 45.2 percent of residents in the county are fully vaccinated, while 47.6 percent of residents have received at least one dose. Vaccinations are down over the same period, with about 200 shots administered per week over the last four months. In Wisconsin 54.7 percent of residents have received the entire series of vaccinations and 57.4 percent of residents have received at least one dose.

The number of cases in juveniles is up compared to August through Oct. 7 last year, with three cases in juveniles age 0-9 in the same months in 2020 compared to 65 in juveniles age 0-9 in 2021. For ages 10-19 there were 29 cases in 2020 over those months and 124 in 2021.

Dederich said there were 290 total cases last year between Aug. 1 and Oct. 7, and juveniles age 0-9 made up about one percent of cases while age 10-19 made up 10 percent of cases. In 2021 those numbers have increased to 9.7 percent of cases occurring in those ages 0-9 and 18 percent in ages 10-19.

“The rate of difference is 157 percent higher during this same time frame in 0-19 (juveniles),” Dederich said. “In 0-9 (juveniles), 870 percent higher.”

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The county is working to vaccinate as many people as possible according to Dederich, and has begun co-administering the vaccine and booster shots for eligible residents with the flu shot. Dederich said the county is also continuing to perform testing with the Wisconsin National Guard.

Although the vaccine is not currently available for children under 12, the FDA is scheduled to meet at the end of October to discuss vaccine eligibility for children age 5-11 and the CDC is set to meet in early November. Eligibility for the vaccine for children age 12-16 in Wisconsin was opened May 12.

Sheriff appreciation

Among the resolutions approved by the board during the Oct. 19 meeting is a “resolution acknowledging and appreciating the men and women of the Juneau County Sheriff’s Office.”

Juneau County Board of Supervisors Chairman Alan Peterson introduced the resolution.

“It was my idea… you hear all the stuff on television about defunding,” Peterson said. “It’s something we could do that doesn’t hurt anyone and doesn’t cost anything.”

The resolution thanks deputies, telecommunicators and support staff at the Sheriff’s Office for their “quality of work… on behalf of the residents and visitors of Juneau County.” As part of the resolution the board asked other municipalities in Juneau County to acknowledge and appreciate the work of their law enforcement agencies.

Other action

In other action before the board, the board:

  • Recognized Orville Robinson, County Board Supervisor of District 9, for 11 years of service to Juneau County.
  • Appointed Mike Keichinger to Robinson’s seat as District 9 supervisor.
  • Appointed Julie Quist to the Juneau County Human Services Board.
  • Approved 11 land sales of tax delinquent property.
  • Approved the 5-year Juneau County Outdoor Recreation Plan for 2022-2026.
  • Approved a cooperative law enforcement program between Juneau County and the Ho-Chunk Indian Nation.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.

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