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DHS pushes people of all ages to get vaccinated to stop the spread

They say to stop the spread, all age groups need to be taking precautions, including school-age children.
Published: Jan. 20, 2022 at 5:18 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The Department of Health Services said while our seven-day average in the past week is the highest it’s ever been, they do not believe the state has reached its peak.

“I think we can be hopeful that we are near the peak if not there already, but unfortunately have not seen that with our data,” Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer of the DHS Bureau of Communicable Diseases, said.

They say to stop the spread, all age groups need to be taking precautions, including school-age children.

“Getting kids vaccinated is one of the best ways to keep them safe and in school, and that’s one of the best ways that we can overcome this pandemic together,” Dr. Jasmine Zapata, Chief Medical Officer with the DHS Bureau of Community Health Promotion, said.

The DHS reports more than 2,300 children in the state have been infected with COVID-19. Data show the disease can cause serious long-term effects, such as diabetes.

“There have been 2,350 young people -- some very, very young and some teenagers under the age of 20 -- who have been hospitalized with COVID-19,” Health Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said.

Thursday, Dr. Zapata pushed the importance of getting children vaccinated to keep them healthy and in school not only for their education but their mental health.

“The COVID vaccine can keep kids in the classroom, and it can help them build connections with their teachers and peers that are so crucial for their mental well-being,” she said.

Earlier this month, the DHS put out a letter to school administrators encouraging them to adopt safe practices. They say today 80% of public K-12 schools have adopted their program.

“We encourage schools to require masks for everyone: Parents who visit and other visitors kids, obviously who are in school teachers and staff,” Timberlake said.

The DHS reported more than 15,000 new confirmed cases, bringing our seven-day average of new confirmed cases to 18,836. Total confirmed deaths have now reached 10,689.

As of January 20, there were 2,099 Wisconsinites hospitalized for COVID-19 treatment, with 445 of these patients in intensive care units.

DHS recommends taking these steps:

  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster dose as soon as you are eligible.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask in indoor spaces when others are present who do not live with you.
  • Celebrate safely over the holidays by keeping gatherings small, getting tested before visiting others, and staying home if you have any symptoms.

If you have symptoms, get tested. CLICK HERE to find testing locations in your area.

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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