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KENOSHA COUNTY – Citing the highest number of COVID-19 cases in nearly a year and rising hospitalization rates, the Kenosha County Public Health Department and the county’s two hospital systems issued a joint statement on Wednesday afternoon urging the public to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

“As of today (Wednesday, Dec. 8), the seven-day daily average of new cases in Kenosha County is 69.4 per 100,000 people — the highest rate since Jan. 12, 2021, when the rate was 71.4 daily cases per 100,000,” the statement read. “At present, there are 62 COVID-19 patients admitted to the Aurora Health Care and Froedtert South hospital campuses in Kenosha County. This is the highest total since Dec. 8, 2020, when there were 66 COVID-19 patients in hospital care. The county’s peak level of COVID-19 hospitalizations was on Dec. 6 and 7, 2020, when 71 people were in care.”

Donna Jamieson, Aurora Medical Center Kenosha president added: “Like other providers in Wisconsin and Illinois, we’re seeing COVID-19 hospitalizations rise steadily. Over the past month, our COVID-19 inpatient census has more than doubled. The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to get vaccinated, and if it’s been long enough since your first shot(s), to get boosted. The vaccines are the most effective tool we have to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and deaths.”

“Froedtert South is fortunate to have two hospital campuses, Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Hospital and Froedtert Kenosha Hospital. Consequently, we have been able to treat the COVID-19 inpatients at our downtown hospital, Froedtert Kenosha Hospital, and continue the treatment of our other patients at Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Hospital. This permits us to continue with our elective surgeries and procedures at Froedtert Pleasant Prairie Hospital while isolating the growing number of COVID-19 inpatients at Froedtert Kenosha Hospital where our COVID-19 caregivers and resources can be consolidated. Unfortunately, we are seeing an escalating number of COVID-19 inpatients at Froedtert Kenosha Hospital which is starting to parallel our peak 2020 numbers with almost all the patients being unvaccinated.”

Ric Schmidt, president of Froedtert South

Delta Variant Is Factor

The current caseload locally is not associated with the Omicron variant, which to date has logged a limited number of confirmed cases in Wisconsin, all outside of Kenosha County, said Dr. Jen Freiheit, Kenosha County Health Officer. Rather, the county is continuing to see a significant spread of Delta variant cases.

“With the holidays coming up, it’s even more important to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and to wear a mask and socially distance when you’re around unvaccinated people,” she said. “Gatherings, where there may be a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people, present a risk to everyone in attendance, and people should make considerations and plan accordingly.” 

COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing Information

COVID-19 vaccinations are readily accessible in Kenosha County to all people ages 5 and up, at hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. A list of providers is available on the Kenosha County website COVID-19 Response Hub.

Kenosha County Public Health will host a free, community vaccination clinic from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday in the Job Center at 8600 Sheridan Road, Kenosha. Appointments are recommended but not required; they may be made online at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services – Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Registry. (Select “Kenosha County Public Health Mass Clinic”) or call 262-605-6799.

People who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and/or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive should get tested to help prevent further spread, Freiheit said. A list of local testing locations is available on the Kenosha County website’s Health Services page.

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:...