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Vaccine rates rising, disease activity high

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Vaccination rates are climbing after a mid-summer lull, with the severity of the delta variant convincing some of those previously uninterested to get their shots.

In the month of August, around 14 million people nationwide got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, compared with around 10 million the month prior. In Minnesota, just over 179,000 vaccine doses were administered in July, down from more than 370,000 in June. In August, more than 272,000 doses were administered in the state, and another 61,615 were given Sept. 1-8. This includes first doses, second doses and booster shots, which are available to the immunocompromised.

Locally, from Aug. 12 through Sept. 8, the number of residents with at least one dose of the vaccine in each county was as follows:

  • Winona: 54.3%, up 1.3% from 53%
  • Houston: 57.5%, up 1.5% from 56%
  • Trempealeau: 59.1%, up 3% from 56.1%
  • La Crosse: 60.9%, up 2.3% from 58.6% on Aug. 11
  • Chippewa: 50.9%, up 2.7% from 48.2%
  • Crawford: 50.5%, up 1.9% from 48.6%
  • Dunn: 43.7%, up 1.8% from 41.9%
  • Eau Claire: 55.7%, up 2.1 from 53.6%
  • Jackson: 44.0%, up 2.2% from 41.8%
  • Monroe: 43.7%, up 2.4% from 41.3%
  • Vernon: 49.4%, up 2.1% from 47.3%

Statewide, 76.3% of the population 16 and older had received at least one vaccine dose as of Wednesday, and 68.5% had completed the vaccine series. In Wisconsin, those numbers were 55.5% and 52.2%, respectively. In Winona County, 61.9% of people 16 and older have had at least one dose, and 59.5% have completed the series.

Meanwhile, disease activity levels continue to rise.

Statewide, the weekly COVID-19 case rate stood at 8 cases per 10,000 people in the last week of July; the number for the week of Aug. 22-28 had grown to 19.2 In Winona County, the weekly case rate over the same period soared from 6.5 to 32.8.

In Wisconsin, cases rates also remain high, with a burden of 463.3 per 100,000 during the period of Aug. 25 through Sept. 7. During the same span, La Crosse County had a burden of 522.3 per 100,000, per DHS.

Also during the two-week period, DHS reported growing hospitalizations in four counties, with 20.9% of ventilators statewide in use. Western Wisconsin’s hospitalizations grew by 42%, with 50% of the region’s hospitals reporting ICUs at peak capacity.

Total deaths in Minnesota have surpassed 7,870, and in Wisconsin the number is more than 7,740.

Emily Pyrek can be reached at

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