Wisconsin well being officers urge masking in 7 counties with excessive COVID ranges | WUWM 89.7 FM

Wisconsin well being officers are urging people in seven counties with excessive COVID-19 ranges to put on masks indoors, they usually’re encouraging precautions statewide.

The counties that meet the CDC definition for a excessive COVID burden are Racine, Kenosha, Vernon, Monroe, La Crosse, Rusk and Barron. Most different Wisconsin counties, together with Milwaukee, are within the medium class.

Wisconsin Division of Well being Companies Chief Medical Officer Ryan Westergaard told reporters Monday what the CDC’s definition of a excessive COVID degree in a group means.

“There’s two issues: there’s sufficient group transmission that the variety of instances is excessive and there’s a bigger variety of folks with COVID-19 in our hospitals,” Westergaard stated. “In order that’s supposed to get the general public’s consideration and say we have to work a little bit tougher than now we have been to forestall transmission.”

One method to forestall transmission is to put on masks in public indoor settings.

Westergaard stated omicron subvariants are driving Wisconsin’s present COVID enhance. Omicron was the variant that brought on a surge of instances in December and January.

“Omicron and its descendants develop into an increasing number of transmissible,” he stated. “And that’s what’s modified the epidemic in an essential means. Being in the identical room as somebody who’s contaminated is now a danger issue. It’s not you’re inside 6 ft for quarter-hour. They’re so simply transmitted that simply being the identical indoor area is a danger issue.”

Westergaard stated waning immunity among the many hundreds of individuals contaminated with omicron within the winter is also contributing to the present rise in COVID instances. He stated immunity seems to wane after 5 months.

The U.S. lately reached the staggering milestone of 1 million COVID deaths. To forestall extra deaths, Westergaard inspired folks to get up-to-date on their COVID vaccinations. He stated anybody at excessive danger who will get COVID ought to speak to their well being care supplier about antiviral medications, that are broadly accessible in Wisconsin.

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