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RACINE COUNTY – Local health officials are strongly encouraging residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as a highly infectious variant of the virus is spreading quickly around the country. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Data Tracker, Racine County has seen a three-fold increase in COVID-19 cases in the past week, and is now in the “Substantial” category for level of community transmission. Neighboring Milwaukee and Waukesha counties are also placed in the “Substantial” category.

The City of Racine Public Health Department and Central Racine County Health Department (CRCHD) officials on Thursday issued statements to push unvaccinated residents to get their COVID-19 vaccine wherever it is most convenient.

According to Margaret Gesner, Health Officer at CRCHD, “getting vaccinated is our best mechanism to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.”

“It is imperative for the safety and health of our communities that eligible individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible,” added Dottie-Kay Bowersox, Public Health Administrator for the City of Racine. “Vaccine is plentiful and available at many locations throughout the City and County.  Now is not the time to relax against this virus. We must protect ourselves and those who are not able to be vaccinated such as children under the age of twelve years.”

You can find the vaccine provider closest to you by visiting the CDC Vaccine Finder. In addition to getting vaccinated, local health officials strongly encourage Racine County residents to adhere to the updated CDC guidelines and wear masks in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. Science has shown that wearing a mask over your mouth and nose reduces respiratory droplets and aerosols that spread COVID-19.

Effective Thursday, a City of Racine public health order requires all city employees and visitors to wear masks inside all city-owned buildings, including Racine City Hall, City Hall Annex, Racine Police Department, Racine Fire Department and city-owned community centers.

More local information about COVID-19 can be found online on the Racine Coronavirus and CRCHD websites.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...