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DHS Hopes New Data Pages Will Help People Make Healthy Decisions

Wisconsin DHS

New data released by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services showcases the impact of the COVID-19 vaccines.

It has a breakdown of case rates for testing, hospitalizations, and deaths associated with COVID among vaccinated versus not fully vaccinated.

“You can see that there are three times as many cases in those who are not fully vaccinated as we look at the rate per 100,000. You see something very similar, about three and a half times as many hospitalizations in those people who are not fully vaccinated, and then a 10-fold increase in deaths for people who are not fully vaccinated,” said Traci DeSalvo, DHS Bureau of Communicable Diseases Director.

You can view the data page here.

More than half of Wisconsin residents are now fully vaccinated.

The state is currently averaging 1,200 COVID-19 cases a day. Six people a day are dying from the virus.

All but two counties in the state are currently experiencing substantial or high transmission of the virus.

With school starting in less than two weeks, the Department of Health Services is rolling out a new tool for districts to monitor cases in their region.

People can view COVID-19 transmission rates by school district.

These are the same transmission rates the CDC basis mask guidance on.

DeSalvo hopes school districts will use the map to make decisions on COVID protocols.

“This is incorporating, not just the school population, not just the students and teachers at that school, but the entire population of that school district area,” she said. “As you look at those confirmed cases, this is looking at everyone who looks at that school districts zone.”

The data broken up this way shows how different rates of transmission are in our region.

Regardless of those rates, the CDC and DHS recommends all students and staff wear masks this school year.

“There are things that we can do to minimize the risk to ourselves and our children by wearing masks, but that’s only part of the equation. We can make going to school safer by wearing masks on an individual level, but we can’t make them as safe as they would be if everyone were wearing masks,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ryan Westegaar. “My sense, and my plea, is that there’s still time to make these decisions, to make our schools as safe as we possibly can. Doing so requires masks for everybody inside a school building.”

Westergaard says a mask is more effective when it fits the child’s face properly, and a surgical mask is better than a cloth one.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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