MADISON, Wisconsin – Counties in Wisconsin maintain high levels of COVID activity, following a downward trend in activity in early spring.
A Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID activity tracking map showed just four counties with average activity, compared to more than 20 with low to medium activity in mid-March. In addition, a county has returned to a very high level, after weeks without any in the deepest blue range.
The growing activity includes sequenced variants doubling from last week, with the UK and a California strain dominating the number of active variant cases by nearly 600.
“This is most likely part of the explanation for why cases are increasing in Wisconsin,” DHS chief medical officer Dr Ryan Westergaard said Tuesday at a press briefing. “We are seeing more cases among young people as a proportion of all of our cases.”
An increasing share of the positive cases available for sequencing in the laboratory are highly transmissible variants, explained Dr Westergaard. In Michigan, he noted, an increase in sequenced variants preceded the peak in cases.
In Dane County, health officials also attribute some of this spread to variants, particularly the UK variant which is now considered potentially the dominant COVID strain.
“We love to see immunization numbers keep rising,” said Katarina Grande, data manager for the Madison and Dane County Public Health Team. “We don’t like it so much when we see the number of cases increase.”
Cases are increasing among the younger population, at youth sporting events and in outlying communities around Madison, according to the latest weekly data from the PHMDC. But there’s also good news, Grande noted.
“We took another milestone this week, where we didn’t see a single case associated with a long-term care facility in a cluster,” she said. “It hasn’t happened for a very long time.”
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