Sokaogon Chippewa Community News

DHS Recommends COVID Booster for Everyone 18 and older as Cases Rise

By Erin Gottsacker, WXPR Public Radio

Anyone older than 18 can now receive a COVID-19 booster dose if they completed their Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series at least six months ago.

That is the latest recommendation from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. It comes at a time when local COVID cases are rising ahead of the holiday weekend.

The Aspirus Reference Lab saw the positivity rate of COVID-19 tests increase for the third week in a row last week. That rate now sits at its highest point since January.

Last week Aspirus Health reported just over 100 people hospitalized for COVID-19. Twenty-nine of those people were in the ICU. A majority were not vaccinated.

Dr. Susan Schneider, the System Senior Physician Executive of Primary Care for Aspirus Health, says these numbers show a disconnect between how people are acting and what’s happening in local health care facilities.

“You go out in the community, customers and businesses are unmasked, there’s less social distancing, larger gatherings are happening, yet within the health systems we are seeing a critical level of hospitalizations, we’re seeing ICU-level beds are scarce, we’re seeing resources are really strained,” she says. “So I think there really is a disconnect or desensitivity of what’s going on.”

Read or listen to the full story here.