COVID Updates from Dr. Hall Jan. 4, 2022 | WisCommunity

COVID Updates from Dr. Hall Jan. 4, 2022

January 5, 2022 - 10:00pm
Dunn Co. COVID-19 Stats
This week's data update for Dunn County is sparse, as there seems to be an issue with the database. Additionally, we will have wonky data due to the Christmas and New Year's holidays, so it may take a little bit to get a good idea of what's going on.
 
Four new deaths this past week, which is heart-breaking. If you read the obits, you'll see some of the folks we've lost to COVID this past month are quite young (40s and 50s). Total cases haven't skyrocketed, so it's likely we don't have much Omicron here yet, although 2/3 of the cases in the overall state are, according to random sampling.
 
Wisconsin is likely to enter the skyrocketing phase of things soon, as already Dane and Milwaukee counties are taking off - this will eventually spread to the smaller cities and towns. Other states are already way ahead of us on this curve, so we can anticipate what it coming.
 
Unfortunately, hospitalizations in the US are going up steeply. The vast majority of these hospitalizations are in unvaccinated people (still, even with Omicron), but unfortunately we have a lot of unvaccinated in this country and a lot of un-boosted as well.
 
If you compare the US to the UK, which is a couple of weeks ahead of us, you can see that our cases have been about half as high as theirs (we're still catching up) but that our hospitalizations are about double theirs. Why the difference? Well, it's likely about vaccination - in the UK, 70% of the population is fully vaccinated and 50% is boosted. In the US, about 62% is vaccinated and only 21% is boosted. Please get boosted if you can (it likely will be approved by CDC for ages 12-15 later this week) and encourage anyone you know who isn't vaccinated to please do so. Our hospitals, still reeling from this Delta surge, are not going to be able to handle what is likely coming their way.
 
I don't know if there will be disruptions to schools and other institutions due to needs for stay-at-home orders (for which the public now has no patience, so I think local gov't will try to avoid this) or, more likely, massive absenteeism due to illness with COVID. The newer 5-day (instead of 10) isolation rule will help that a bit but is unlikely to overcome the massive numbers of infections that are likely to occur in a very short amount of time. Be ready to be flexible.
Alexandra Hall, MD
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