Local healthcare now receiving vaccine

Liz Richardson, a registered nurse at Marshfield Medical Center - Park Falls, was one of around 160 local health care professionals to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination on Dec. 28.

Price County confirmed 42 new cases of COVID-19 since between Dec. 28-Jan. 4, bringing the county to a total of 964 confirmed cases — 34 of which were considered active as of Monday.

The weekly numbers are remaining low in Price County, although testing numbers have also declined in the past two weeks. Between Dec. 29-Jan. 4, 94 county residents were tested for the virus, and 75 individuals were tested between Dec. 22-28, according to data collected by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Those are the lowest testing numbers Price County has seen in several months, with weekly testing numbers reaching an all time high in the week of Sept 29-Oct. 5, with 312 tests administered. Throughout October, weekly testing numbers remained in the 200s; November saw weekly testing numbers ranging from 135-218; and the first three weeks of December saw weekly testing numbers over 100.

As of Monday, a total of 5,798 county residents have been tested for the virus, 4,834 of which had returned negative.

Probable cases numbers — which are calculated after an individual either receives a positive antigen test (also known as a rapid test) or after developing symptoms of COVID-19 following exposure to someone who is confirmed to have the virus — have remained stable in Price County since last week, standing at 73 total on Monday. Two of these cases were considered currently active as of that date.

Of those Price County residents who have tested positive for the virus, 80 have been hospitalized since the start of the pandemic — an increase of three since Dec. 28.

There have been five deaths associated with the virus in the county.

Hospitals in the north central region of Wisconsin are finally seeing some relief in their capacity percentage, which declined from 82% full on Dec. 27 to 77% full on Monday.

There were still a high number of hospital beds in use — 800 of 1,034 total — and 96 patients who had tested positive for COVID-19. The last time hospitals in this region saw such a low number of COVID-19 patients was in early October of last year.

Of the current patients who have the coronavirus, 26 were in the intensive care unit, and 47 were breathing with the aid of a mechanical ventilator. An additional three individuals were awaiting test results to determine whether or not they have the virus.

Statewide, hospital capacity has inched back up by a small percentage, with 8,877 of Wisconsin’s 11,041 hospital beds in use for an 80% capacity rate. As of Monday, there were a total of 1,123 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized, 231 of which were in the intensive care unit and 458 of which were receiving mechanical ventilation. There were an additional 62 patients awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

Regionally, Oneida County continues to have the highest caseload, with 2,733 confirmed cases as of Monday — 166 of which were considered active. A total of 128 county residents who have tested positive have been hospitalized since the start of the pandemic, 20 of which were currently in the hospital as of Monday. The virus has been associated with 47 deaths in the county. There have been 1,516 individuals who have been considered recovered and released from isolation. A total of 16,245 tests for the virus have returned negative.

Lincoln County has confirmed 2,513 cases, 91 of which were active. There have been 101 hospitalizations and 46 deaths associated with the virus. Another 2,376 people have recovered. A total of 9,869 tests have returned negative.

Taylor County has confirmed 1,760 cases, with 160 people quarantined as of Monday. There have been 30 deaths, and 61 hospitalizations — 12 current — due to the virus. A total of 5,098 tests have returned negative.

Vilas County has confirmed 1,684 cases, 129 of which were active. There have been 86 hospitalizations and 28 deaths associated with the virus. There have been 1,532 recoveries. A total of 7,750 tests have returned negative.

Sawyer County has confirmed 1,252 cases, 102 of which were active. There have been 11 deaths and 55 hospitalizations associated with the virus. There have been 1,138 recoveries. A total of 7,201 tests have returned negative.

Rusk County has confirmed 1,116 cases, 112 of which were active. There have been 13 deaths and 69 hospitalizations associated with the virus. There have been 991 recoveries. A total of 4,291 tests have returned negative.

Ashland County has confirmed 1,015 cases, 16 deaths, and 43 hospitalizations. Current information on recoveries or active case numbers were not available prior to presstime. A total of 6,073 tests have returned negative.

Iron County has confirmed 423 cases, 77 of which were active. There have been 35 deaths and 29 hospitalizations associated with the virus. A total of 346 individuals have recovered. There have been 2,236 negative test results in the county.

Wisconsin had confirmed 487,938 cases of the virus as of Monday, 26,389 of which were considered active. The virus has contributed to 21,580 hospitalizations and 4,884 deaths since the start of the pandemic. A total of 2,365,680 tests have returned negative.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

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