COVID-19 is hitting the area hard once again, according to Barron County Public Health.
There were 30 hospitalizations last week alone, the department stated in a news release on Monday.
Case numbers were unknown because the state reporting system was down. But at last count Barron County had 6,845 cumulative cases, which is up 67 from the Sept. 7 report.
Barron County is currently experiencing “high” levels of community transmission. “Because of this everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask when in public,” Public Health stated.
“This is not the same virus we were dealing with last year, said Health Officer Laura Sauve. “We are seeing this COVID virus spread more easily than it did last fall.”
Health official say the best way to stop the spread is to get vaccinated. Vaccines prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death and they are effective against the new Delta variant. Having most people in your area vaccinated will reduce spread of the virus in the community and help prevent new variants from developing. In Barron County, only 53% of those who are eligible for vaccination are fully vaccinated.
In addition to getting vaccinated and wearing a mask indoors when in public, here are some other steps to help protect yourself and those who are most at risk.
• Choose safer activities, like those outdoors
• Stay 6 feet apart from people who don’t live in your home
• Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
• Wash your hands often
• Cover coughs and sneezes; stay home if you are sick
• Clean and disinfect surfaces often
• Get as healthy as possible. If you are overweight try to lose weight, exercise and eat healthy. If you have a chronic disease, work with your healthcare provider to manage that illness.
Barron County Public Health offers free Pfizer vaccines for those 12 and older and free Johnson and Johnson vaccines for those 18 and older. Vaccines are available Monday-Friday at the Government Center in Barron. Call 715-537-5691, extension 6442 for more information. You can also call your healthcare provider or pharmacy or go to https://www.vaccines.gov/ to find a vaccine near you. All COVID-19 vaccines are completely free of charge with no insurance needed. People who get vaccinated between now and September 19th are also able to receive $100 from the State of Wisconsin. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit the Wisconsin Department of Health or the CDC vaccine websites.