County cases dip as vaccine nears
The number of new COVID-19 cases in Trempealeau County dipped below 100 again last week as the Trempealeau County Health Department announced it has been cleared to begin administering a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 99 new COVID-19 cases last week, making it the second time in three weeks that the number of new cases has been fewer than 100. Positive results were received by 34.4 percent of those who were tested last week.
Last week Tuesday, the health department announced it has been authorized by the state to administer a two-dose vaccine to individuals who are in the Phase 1A — healthcare providers who are directly involved with COVID-19 patients — of prioritization guidelines. Vaccines will be administered today (Wednesday) and Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. by appointment only. Individuals in Phase 1A are advised to call 715-538-3826 to schedule appointments.
In the release sent last week, the health department said they “expect that it will take several months to vaccinate everyone eligible in Phase 1A.” Health director Barb Barczak said the next phase won’t come until those in Phase 1A have all received vaccinations.
While the exact details regarding who is eligible for vaccines in the next phase hasn’t been announced officially yet, the health department’s press release said they “anticipate that Phase 1B may include persons aged 75 and older and non-health care frontline essential workers. Then we anticipate in Phase 1C, persons aged 65-74, persons aged 18-64 with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not included in Phase 1B will start receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. This information is subject to change based on further guidelines and vaccine supply.”
Of the new cases registered by the DHS last week, 21 were in the Independence area while Osseo had 18, Arcadia, 15; Trempealeau and Eleva, 13; Blair, 10; Whitehall, seven; Strum, six; Ettrick, three and Galesville, one.
There were eight new cases amongst people four years old or younger, bringing the total number of cases in that age group to 58 since the virus hit the county in April, according to the health department. There were 13 new cases amongst people 60 or older.
While there was a slight drop in the cases, the county still has the fourth highest rate of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 in the state.
Neither the health department nor the DHS announced any more deaths due to the virus.