COVID-19 cases climbing here, but how high? | News, Sports, Jobs - Fix Bdsthanhhoavn

COVID-19 cases climbing here, but how high? | News, Sports, Jobs

Pandemic fatigue and home testing have contributed to a loss of awareness of how COVID-19 is spreading in the U.S., as public health officials use hospitalization data as the primary source. In other places where outbreaks are occurring, such as China, mass testing is still the norm. Pictured here is a tester wearing a protective suit Wednesday, May 25, swabbing a boy’s throat for a COVID-19 test at a coronavirus testing site in Beijing after the city’s Chaoyang district ordered all residents to get tested. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

NEW ULM — Brown County Public Health Director Karen Moritz told the County Board Tuesday that lab-confirmed Brown County COVID-19 cases jumped to 126 so far in May.

Case numbers are now the highest they’ve been since early February. Moritz said there have been six COVID hospitalizations in May, nine in April and four in March.

Moritz said there have been no COVID deaths in May that she is aware of.

Brown County COVID hospitalizations peaked at 62 in November 2020, fell last summer and began rising again last fall, reaching 35 in October 2021 and 313 in January 2022.

Child case rates are slowly rising after topping 100 in January 2022. Case rates for those age 18 and under were at 10% in April and May 2022. They peaked at 35% in May 2021 and 31% in October 2021.

Moritz said people need to be aware of how to deal with climbing COVID rates.

“Immunocompromised people should consider masking indoors. Testing should be done if you’re symptomatic,” she said.

“A lot of people are doing home tests now. That’s probably the norm now. All clinics are still testing,” Moritz told The Journal Wednesday.

She said positive COVID-19 tests done at home are not reported to public health. She added people who test positive need to quarantine and isolate for 10 days, the first five days at home.

If they feel better after five days and have no fever, people can go back in public but should wear masks.

“People can still order (COVID) tests from the state of Minnesota and federal government,” Moritz added.

“It’s important people have access to testing. Home tests have provided that. People can isolate and notify others if they are exposed to help prevent the spread,” Moritz said.

“Home tests don’t give a real clear picture of COVID but we have hospitalization numbers and wastewater surveillance is being done,” she added.

Moritz stressed the need for the public to vaccinate.

“Booster shots are available for ages 5-11. People age 50 and up should get a second booster,” she said. “Vaccine effectiveness remains high. It reduces hospitalization and death rates.”

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at [email protected])

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