Although the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Sheboygan County has declined to a level not seen since late August last year, the disease continues taking a tragic toll on Sheboygan County residents.  The latest casualty recorded during the pandemic by the Sheboygan County Division of Public Health is said to be someone 80 or older, becoming the 143 victim in Sheboygan County.  Of that number, seventy-five have been 80 or older, thirty-two were in their 70s, twenty-two were in their 60s, five were in their 50s, five were in their 40s, three were in their 30s and one was between 10 and 19 years old.

Two more positive tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus were received by the County DHS since Monday, while 13 more recovered, lowering the active case count by 12 to 79.  That’s the fewest active cases since August 26th last year when 77 were recorded.  13,769 cases in all have been noted here.  Hospitalizations rose by two, to 5.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recorded 481 new cases of the coronavirus since Monday, raising the total in the state so far to 606,755.  13 additional deaths raise that toll to 6,971, and 95 hospitalizations were logged since Monday.  The Wisconsin Hospitals Association says that after accounting for deaths and discharges, the state’s COVID patient population declined by 5 to 316, 81 of those in ICU beds, and 426 ventilators are in use statewide.

Amid sometimes conflicting guidance on masking policies from local, state and federal entities, the Sheboygan County Division of Public Health is advising county residents that vaccinated persons no longer need to wear a mask unless they are in specific settings such as schools, public transportation, congregate living settings or healthcare facilities.  The guidance, based upon that from the Centers for Disease Control, assumes one is fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks after their second in a 2-dose series such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after the single-dose Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.  The recommendation is based upon research showing that vaccinated people are protected and less likely to carry the virus to others.  The CDC states that over the past few weeks, cases across the nation have continued falling dramatically, and a growing number of studies have show three big things:

  1. Vaccines are working in the real world .  Studies show them to be greater than 90% effective in the real world settings in preventing mild and severe disease, hospitalization, and death.
  2. Vaccines have proven to be effective agains the SARS-CoV-2 variants currently circulating in this country, and
  3. If you’re vaccinated, you’re less likely to spread the virus.  A growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection and to be able to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others.

The Sheboygan County DPH is offering several community walk-in vaccine clinics throughout the county, as well as homebound vaccine appointments.  More information about those options are published on the COVID-19 section of the website.  Included among the options are a walk-in clinic at the Elkhart Lake Fire Department on Wednesday, May 19 from 2-6 PM, and at St. Clement Catholic Church on Friday, May 21 from 2-6 PM.

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