Appleton sees a surge in COVID-19 cases

Lands on NYT list of metro areas with fastest growing number of cases
Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 4:16 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The City of Appleton reports another 11 cases of COVID-19, continuing what has been an upward trajectory for the past two weeks. The Appleton area has seen such a large increase in cases that it landed at number eleven on the New York Times list of metro areas, on a population adjusted basis, with the fastest growing case count.

The graphs don’t lie and the national press for the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Appleton are coming to a head.

According to Appleton Health Officer Kurt Eggebrecht, “We are really at a point where we’ve had two weeks of acceleration rates so we really are concerned.”

The the cause for the spike is twofold. Contact tracing is showing a lot more household contacts, meaning when cases go up there’s likely secondary spread among people living in the same home. The other issue, and more of a concern, is what Eggebrecht calls covid fatigue, with people returning to pre-pandemic routines --specifically gathering in large groups. “And each time we do this, we run the risk of not only that individual you’re with but all of the people they’ve been exposed to and that’s really what we’re seeing now is those gatherings of 25, 50 people that is increasing the risk of the spread,” say Eggebrecht.

Right now the Appleton area is seeing community spread and Eggebrecht suggests it’s time for people to think about their actions and how they impact others.

The purpose of wearing masks, practicing social distancing, avoiding large group events, and only going out when necessary is to avoid widespread community transmission.

“That’s what where we’ve seen other communities in a similar spot just kind of accelerate to a point where we have more hospitalizations and we have more bad outcomes and that’s really what we’re trying to prevent,” adds Eggebrecht.

And if we, as a community can work to lower the rates, businesses can stay open and all schools can fully reopen to students.

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