A decline in COVID-19 cases is continuing in Barron County and statewide.
New COVID-19 cases numbered 60 in the week leading up to Feb. 9, according to Barron County Public Health. That is down from 92 the week before.
Active cases numbered 113, down from 144 a week ago.
The death toll increased by two to 73 people in Barron County.
Statewide, this week was the first since September when there were fewer than 1,000 cases reported per day, said Julie Willems Van Dijk, deputy secretary for the state Department of Health Services.
This is an indicator that vaccinations are helping.
Willems Van Dijk said 33 percent Wisconsinites 65 and older have received a dose of the vaccine.
In total, 793,475 doses have been administered, and 174,482 of those are second doses.
“Having 10 percent of the state immunized certainly helps,” said Dr. Ryan Westergard, Chief Medical Officer in the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
He added, “People have gotten into a groove and are doing the right things in terms of restricting interactions and wearing their masks.”
Westergard stressed that taking these precautions remains important as variants of the virus spread.
“We need to prevent the spread of all COVID-19,” he said. “The strategy remains the same, but there’s a new element that makes the stakes even higher than before to make sure that these more transmissible variants don’t gain a foothold and become the predominant strains.”
A second case of a COVID-19 variant was reported in Wisconsin Tuesday, but overall variants—particularly one originating in the United Kingdom—are spreading quickly in the U.S.
Willems Van Dijk said that studying the virus will continue, and vaccine makers will continue to adjust.
She said the vaccine supplies to Wisconsin from the federal government are increasing.
Wisconsin’s vaccine rollout has improved among national rankings significantly in the past week, now 10th in administering a first dose to residents, and 16th in the total number of doses administered — up from almost last just two weeks ago.
Willems Van Dijk said immunization efforts will remain focused on people age 65 and older as well as health and public safety workers.
“These phases will take another month or two, then we’ll see where we’re at,” she said.