County sees drop in new covid cases
Health official ‘cautiously optimistic’
By Robert Cloud
After a seven-week surge, Waupaca County is reporting a drop in new COVID-19 cases.
Waupaca County Public Health Officer Jed Wohlt told the Waupaca Common Council he was “cautiously optimistic,” regarding the lower numbers.
Between Sept. 27 and Nov. 14, Waupaca County averaged more than 300 new cases each week.
The count spiked at 354 new cases the week of Oct. 11-17.
Waupaca County reported 349 new cases on Nov. 8-14, the last week of the surge.
Since Nov. 15, the county’s weekly covid count has not risen above 175.
The number of positive new cases countywide dropped to 134 the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.
At the Dec. 1 council meeting, Wohlt described the lower numbers as a “little bit of a glimmer of hope that maybe we’re coming out of that surge.”
In the WIN-TV weekly update on Wednesday, Dec. 3, Waupaca School District Administrator Ron Saari noted the number of teachers who were out sick has dropped from 12-15 per day to 1-2 per day over the past two weeks.
Wohlt said that Waupaca County has experienced a higher percentage of covid-related deaths than other counties in the state.
As of Monday, Dec. 7, the pandemic has killed a total of 127 people in Waupaca County.
Statewide, 0.9% of the reported cases result in fatalities. Wisconsin has a fatality rate of 64.7 per 100,000 population, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Dec. 8.
In Waupaca County, 2.4% of the reported cases result in fatalities. The county’s fatality rate is 175.9 per 100,000 people.
“Most of the fatalities are older individuals,” Wohlt said. “All of our long-term care facilities in the county have gone through outbreaks and most of them still have active outbreaks.”
Another positive sign, Wohlt said, is that a vaccine may start being distributed either by the end of this year or the beginning of next year.