Waupaca County ranks sixth in state
35 outbreaks investigated
Waupaca County continues to experience high level COVID-19 case activity, according to Jed Wohlt, the county’s public health officer.
In the Aug. 17 Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 Activity Level Measurement, Waupaca County is ranked sixth in the state for COVID-19 burden.
The covid burden examines total cases per 100,000 residents in the past two weeks.
As of Aug. 17, Waupaca County reported a cumulative total of 549 positive cases, a test positivity rate of 6%.
Over the two weeks ending on Aug. 17, the county reported 159 new cases.
Waupaca County has had a total of 35 outbreak investigations as of Aug. 18. Of those 35 investigations, 28 are currently active.
• Bars and restaurants – 11,
• Day Care/School – 1,
• Events, such as graduation parties, family reunion – 2,
• Group housing – 1,
• Office setting – 4,
• Production plants – 3,
• Retail store – 1,
• Salon – 1.
Long-term care investigations
• Nursing homes, one confirmed case qualifies as an outbreak – 8,
• Assisted living, Community based residential facilities – 3.
“Long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable,” Wohlt said.
One outbreak in a long-term care facility includes 47 staff and residents testing positive and has led to the vast majority of fatalities in Waupaca County.
“When there is a high level of community spread, it increases the chances of an outbreak in a long-term care facility even with the many restrictions instituted in these facilities,” Wohlt said.
Avoid gatherings, particularly indoors: More than 30% of outbreak investigations in Waupaca County have been linked to bars and restaurants.
Environments that include talking, yelling and singing while in sustained close contact to others are the breeding grounds for this virus.
In addition, although there have only been two known event-type outbreak investigations, those two outbreaks have involved two of the larger investigations due to the number of people linked to the outbreaks.
Stay home when you have symptoms: Many of the outbreaks have been associated with an individual that went to a gathering or went to work while symptomatic.
Several individuals have mentioned through contact tracing that they thought they were just having allergies or a “summer cold.”
“If you have some of the milder symptoms you may very well just be experiencing allergies or another illness, but it may also be COVID-19,” Wohlt said. “Err on the side of caution, avoid others when you notice some symptoms and get tested.”
Wear a face covering: The virus also spreads when we don’t have symptoms. That is one reason why face coverings are important.
Face coverings help to block or knockdown the droplets expelled from your mouth and nose when you talk, sneeze or cough.