Data update for Dunn County - the increase continues. We're about where we were in mid-February (then on the decline) and in mid-August (incline). We still haven't yet passed the threshold for being declared a Medium or High Community Level, but based on daily counts, Eau Claire has, which will likely be reflected when CDC updates those this Thursday. Fortunately, local hospitalization rates are low in the three counties. They are trending upwards state-wide and nationally, however, so if cases continue to climb (likely, given our current 11% test positivity rate and what the states ahead of us have seen), we'll likely see that here, too. So far, it's nothing compared to the winter, so here's hoping that the arrival of warmer weather, which allows for open windows and outdoor gatherings, will help curb this new surge before it picks up much steam. As cases are climbing again, it's worth a reminder of what to do if you are a close contact (within 6 ft of someone for >15 minutes either in the 2 days before they began symptoms or tested positive or after symptoms started). If you are vaccinated AND BOOSTED *or* have been infected in the past 90 days, you should mask for 10 days, get tested on day 5-7, and watch for symptoms. If you develop symptoms **at any time**, isolate and get tested. If the test is negative and you've had symptoms for less than 48 hours, get tested again two days later to be sure, ideally with a PCR test. You can go online to schedule a FREE PCR test with CVS, Walgreens, Mayo, Marshfield, or Prevea, even if you are not a regular patient/customer of theirs. Results are usually back in 1-2 days. If you are not a close contact and develop potential COVID symptoms, even if it's just the sniffles, PLEASE get tested. You can do a home rapid test, but if it's negative, please do another one or a PCR test in 2 days to be sure, as they can often be falsely negative, especially early in the course of the illness. If you are in EC, be aware that those who are more medically vulnerable and those with live or work with those folks should consider masking indoors and other mitigation measures at this time if you haven't already. Everyone who hasn't very recently had COVID is at risk of getting infected if they go out and about right now, so no matter which county you are in, start to think about how careful you want to be, based on your own personal risk tolerance and whether you have any important events coming up that you'd hate to miss due to having COVID. I know, it's no fun. But we know how to do this. We can turn the dial up on precautionary measures when things heat up and then dial them back down when things cool off. We can do this.

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Alexandra Hall, MD

Alexandra Hall M.D. – Dr. Hall earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Science Education from New York University, taught high school in East Harlem, and then earned her M.D. from Mount Sinai School of Medicine. 

She then completed a residency in Family Practice and served as Chief Resident at the University of Vermont.  After practicing medicine for Dean Health System in Wisconsin and then at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, Dr. Hall moved to Menomonie, WI to work at UW Stout, where she currently teaches for the Biology department and serves as a physician at Student Health Services. 

Dr. Hall has a passion for educating people about health and science; she gives workshops regionally and nationally on various medical topics to both lay and professional audiences and has won several teaching awards for her work.


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