COVID-19 cases rising in Wisconsin children

Rise is especially in children 9 to 13, according to Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 5:06 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - In a press conference Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) said COVID-19 cases are rising amongst children in Wisconsin.

According to the DHS, children in the 9-13 age group are seeing a high-positivity trend, while children in the 14-17 age group are seeing the highest positive case rate overall.

DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. said since children under the age of 12 cannot receive the vaccine, there’s a responsibility for adults to protect the children.

“Because we do have so much variation in vaccination rates in kids in particular and because we have so many younger children that cannot be vaccinated, it is critical that the adults in their lives do everything possible to protect those kids,” said Timberlake.

The DHS says getting vaccinated is an important step for children and adults alike. According to Timberlake, about 40% of children 12-15 are vaccinated while 46% of 16-17 year-olds are vaccinated.

“That’s obviously where we need to continue to hone in,” said Timberlake.

The DHS also points to an increased number of extracurricular activities when compared to last year that cases are up. However, Chief Medical Officer for the DHS Bureau of Communicable Disease Dr. Ryan Westergaard says high transmission is all around.

“The bigger lesson is not that schools are solely driving transmission,” said Dr. Westergaard. “We have a pandemic where generalized transmission is everywhere and we should be using prevention strategies to limit that.”

One of those prevention strategies is wearing a mask in indoor settings.

COVID-19 guidelines are still at district-by-district decision due to a Wisconsin State Supreme Court ruling restricting a statewide policy.

For more information on COVID-19 in Wisconsin, visit here.

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