The pandemic is not over, says La Crosse County.
Even though 60 per cent of county residents have been fully vaccinated, the number of local COVID cases is starting to rise again.
The county health department is again urging people who have been vaccinated to wear masks in public, continue to keep social distance in groups, and seek testing if you have COVID symptoms.
Here is a statement released by the county health department on Tuesday:
COVID-19 cases are continuing to circulate among La Crosse County residents. While the number of cases in the county is nowhere near the level that occurred in 2020, we are seeing an uptick in cases compared to recent months.
Reported cases are occurring almost entirely among unvaccinated people. Much like the experience across Wisconsin and the nation cases are suspected of being caused by the delta variant, which has been found to be twice as infectious as the original virus. To date 3 cases of the delta variant have been found in those testing positive, but local access to testing is limited and only available at the Wisconsin State Lab.
The Department expected an increase in cases of COVID-19 in the fall when students returned to in person learning and is concerned to see the increase in July. Disease investigation staff are finding that many of the recent positive cases have had lots of contacts, which means continued opportunity for spread of the virus.
The delta variant is becoming the dominant virus strain across the nation. The most effective way to put the COVID-19 pandemic behind us is to continue to urge all people eligible to get vaccinated. La Crosse County has a complete vaccination rate of nearly 60%, but rates of vaccination are lower among certain segments of the population. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the CDC are pushing for 70% vaccination rates across the state and nation.
Vaccinations are safe, highly effective, and protective against the delta variant. Local evidence and data across Wisconsin and the nation shows that we are now in a phase of the pandemic that is preventable, as nearly 100% of cases are passing among those who are unvaccinated.
To address the increase in cases health deparment staff urge the public to seek out vaccination and revisit the disease prevention guidance the department has been promoting for the past 16 months.
1. Seek out vaccination
2. Wear a mask if you are not vaccinated or choose not to get vaccinated.
3. Those vaccinated are also being encouraged to wear a mask in public places to protect against virus exposure. 4. Gather with others in groups with caution, allowing plenty of physical distance.
5. Wash your hands regularly and don’t touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.
6. Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing if you have any symptoms