Things keep changing and in this case change is good. The press release from DC Public Health April 2, 2021 can be viewed here. There are number of important points.
- Starting 4/5/21 Wisconsin residents over the age of 16 are eligible for the vaccine.
- All minors under the age of 18 need to be accompanied by an adult.
- Both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available but:
- Johnson & Johnson is available for those > 18 and is 1 injection
- Pfizer vaccine is available for those over the age of 16
- Public Health will try to honor vaccine preferences if the supply is available
- Both types are equally effective and safe and people are encouraged to take what is available and not reschedule for the type they might prefer.
The above figure shows that as of April 2nd, 47.5% of eligible residents in Door County have received at least one dose of vaccine. Also over 86% of residents over 65 years of age have received at least one dose of vaccine. The amount of vaccine available to be given in Door County has also increased. Available sites for vaccination are listed below.
Vaccine sites are: Vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, and J&J.
This is the great news but there is a catch. COVID-19 activity has increased in the last two weeks in Door County and remains high. In the last two weeks, Door County has seen three times the total COVID-19 cases than the first two weeks of the month. The burden for Door County was 253 per 100,000 population which is double the burden for the state of Wisconsin. The percent positivity over the last 7 days is 7.3% which is also up. It may indicate that there are undetected cases present. Recently the South African variant of the virus was detected here. This variant appears to be more rapidly and easily infective and could partially be a reason for the increase in cases. Therefore now is not the time to celebrate and relax. Although many of us are protected through being vaccinated from the severe effects of the virus, the virus is still around and people can get real sick. Until we get a much larger portion of our population vaccinated, we need to continue to practice proven public health measures to mitigate the virus. For that reason on April 1st (not an April Fools Joke) the health department issued the following:
- People over 5 years should properly wear a face covering or mask that covers their nose and mouth when in any public space.
- Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet between yourself and other people who are not members of your household.
- Avoid in-person events and gatherings, as they are considered high risk.
- Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
- Stay home if you are sick even with mild symptoms
- Get vaccinated as soon as possible.
- The Health Department asks that all residents and visitors do their part in supporting efforts against this pandemic, which includes continuing to wear masks in public, even if you have received the vaccine.
In spite of the continued restrictions, we are heading in the right direction and lives have already been saved through our efforts past, present, and future. There is light at the end of the tunnel and the promise for a more normal future. The worst thing we could do would be to relax and let the virus maintain a foothold in our area. Please stay safe and help your neighbor stay safe as well.