Public Health, Local Health Systems Encourage Boosters & Second Boosters
Dane County Raised to CDC’s “Medium” Level of COVID Activity
Increased levels of COVID activity have pushed Dane County into “medium” levels of transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Community Levels.
The CDC looks at several metrics to determine these levels, including cases per 100,000 residents, new hospitalizations, and hospital bed capacity recorded over the past seven days. While several metrics are considered, Dane County’s case activity is what tipped our county into the medium level. Our case activity has been increasing since late March, with a current 7-day average of 159 cases per day. But due to our county’s high vaccination status, available treatment options, and immunity following the Omicron surge in January, hospitalizations and hospital bed capacity have not similarly increased. In the last two weeks, Dane County hospitals averaged 29 people hospitalized with COVID each day, the lowest levels since July 2021.
“While this increase is a cause of concern and caution, it is not a cause for alarm,” said Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County, Janel Heinrich. “We have always been clear that this pandemic is not over, we expect to see peaks and valleys in the number of cases in our community. Following these risk levels helps people make informed decisions and take proactive steps to stay healthy.”
Public Health and healthcare systems continue to support our community in staying healthy through testing and vaccination services. Initial series, boosters, and second boosters are widely available to those who are eligible at Public Health clinic locations, mobile clinics, local pharmacies, and healthcare providers.
“Our top priority remains focused on minimizing the number of tragic outcomes due to COVID-19, including hospitalizations and deaths. We do that by staying up to date on our vaccinations. So if you are among the 20% of our population currently eligible for boosters but have not gotten them, now is the time to get up to date,” said Heinrich.
Besides staying up to date on vaccines, other considerations for individuals living in a community with medium levels of transmission include:
- If you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, talk to your health care provider about whether you should wear a mask in public.
- If you live with someone at high risk, or come in contact with people who are high risk, consider wearing a mask while indoors with them or using a home test before coming in contact with them.
- If you have symptoms or were exposed, be sure to get tested.
The following Dane County healthcare organizations support this message: SSM Health, UnityPoint Health ‒Meriter, UW Health, Access Community Health Centers, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, and Stoughton Health.
- Communications Team, PHmedia@publichealthmdc.com