After low numbers of active cases since early September, Price County has seen a steep increase in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in the past week. As of Tuesday, there were 16 active cases in the county — up from two active cases on Sept. 14. On Sept. 18 alone, six county residents tested positive for the virus.
The new positives can’t be tied back to any one large event or gathering, according to Price County Public Health Officer Michelle Edwards, but rather from numerous smaller gatherings. Many of the individuals who tested positive have reported they are unaware where they could have picked up the virus, and the new cases have emerged throughout the county and not in just one area, Edwards told the Review on Monday.
With community interactions increasing from the summer months with the start of the school year, Edwards reminded people to protect themselves by practicing good hygiene, frequent handwashing, maintaining a distance of six feet or more from people outside one’s immediate household, and wearing a mask when in public.
Those who follow Price County Public Health’s Facebook page for daily updates on the virus may have observed that one newly added positive to Price County’s total was removed last week. According to Edwards, the reason for that incident was a college student with a Price County address who tested positive in the location they are attending college. The results were initially attributed to Price County’s total, but after further investigation,health officials determined that the case had likely originated from the county the student is residing in while in college.
The new spike in cases is not attributed to college students who are currently residing out of the county, according to Edwards. Any positive test results in those students should be attributed to the county they currently reside in.
Testing rates in Price County continue to fluctuate, with the numbers ranging from a scarce handful in a day to over a hundred during the mass testing events. Marshfield Clinic continues to offer nearly daily drive-through testing for people with symptoms of COVID-19, and anyone who is a close contact of someone who tests positive is referred for testing.
Thus far, there have been 2,456 negative test results in the county.
Price County stands at a total of 56 confirmed coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, resulting in six hospitalizations. To date, 40 people have recovered.
Cases again on the rise in the area
Neighboring counties are also documenting spikes in their cases numbers in the past week.
Oneida County recorded 29 new cases over a three-day period, and had 73 active cases as of Monday. The county has had a total of 350 confirmed cases, 270 of which have recovered. The virus has resulted in 21 hospitalizations and is attributed for the death of two people in the county. A total of 8,166 tests have returned negative.
Vilas County saw an increase of 15 new cases over the weekend, and stood at 32 active cases on Monday. Vilas has had a total of 176 confirmed cases, resulting in three hospitalizations and one death attributed to the virus. A total of 4,353 tests have returned negative.
An increase of 15 new cases was recorded in Ashland County over the weekend, and the county’s public health department warned the community via Facebook that gatherings in area bars were contributing to the community spread since social distancing and face coverings are often not observed in those settings. The county has had 77 confirmed cases of the virus and the health department is actively monitoring 203 individuals. There have been two deaths and seven hospitalizations, and 37 people have recovered. A total of 4,160 tests have returned negative.
Lincoln County had 18 new cases confirmed over the weekend, and currently has 37 individuals in isolation due to the virus. There have been a total of 145 confirmed cases in the county, and 4,584 tests have returned negative. There has been one death in the county attributed to the virus.
Rusk County has had a total of 53 confirmed cases, 14 of which are active, and 39 of which have recovered. There has been one death. A total of 2,308 tests have returned negative.
Sawyer County has had 195 confirmed cases, 16 of which are active, and 178 of which have recovered. There have been eight hospitalizations and one death. A total of 4,368 tests have returned negative.
Taylor County has had 151 confirmed cases, resulting in three deaths. A total of 2,652 tests have returned negative. Further details have not been released by this county.
Iron County has had 136 confirmed cases, resulting in one death. A total of 1,443 tests have returned negative. Further details were not available for this county.
As of Monday, a total of 1,440,125 Wisconsinites have tested positive for the virus, 86,822 of which have recovered. There have been 1,337,627 negative test results. There are 14,414 active cases in the state. The virus has been attributed as the cause of 1,244 deaths and 6,692 hospitalizations in Wisconsin.