By Lynn Binnie
Whitewater Banner volunteer staff
The Walworth County Health & Human Services Department stated in its January 13 weekly report, “It is possible that the next few weeks will be very difficult across many sectors as the COVID-19 case surge overlaps with potential increases in influenza and other respiratory illnesses. Remember, stay home if you are sick, wash your hands regularly, and cover your cough.“
- The county’s COVID-19 transmission level this week more than doubled to 1735 cases per 100,000 from 686 cases per 100,000 last week. This is the highest level of the pandemic. As a result the county is now in the CDC’s critically high transmission level. All 72 counties in the state are at the critically high level, driven by the Omicron variant.
- Hospital capacity is at unsustainable levels, with only 4.4% of ICU beds available.
- 23.5% of tests are positive, an all time high.
- Experts estimate that the state will reach its peak in cases within the next one to two weeks.
- Influenza cases are on the increase. Cases of “flurona,” a simultaneous flu and COVID infection, are being diagnosed. It’s not too late to get a flu shot. Public Health is hosting a special free flu vaccine clinic on Thursday, January 20 from 4-6 p.m at 1910 County Road NN, Elkhorn. The clinic is open to all community members, age six months and older. Vaccines will be available while supplies last.
Testing is still available at UW-Whitewater
Free, fast COVID-19 tests available to anyone 5 years or older
To receive a rapid-results test – available in about 15 minutes – register first at wihealthconnect.com. Those who test positive through the rapid-results test are urged to get a confirmatory PCR test.
Individuals do not have to be experiencing symptoms or be a close contact of someone with COVID-19 to get a test, nor do they need to live in the community where the testing site is located.
Monday and Wednesday, Esker Hall, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday, Esker Hall, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Free parking is available in lot 4, with overflow in lots 18 and 19
Testing is also available by reservation at the Whitewater Walgreens.