Rock County’s COVID-19 Uptick
Last week we reported a supposed drop in daily cases per 100,000 people in Rock County. This information was disclosed to students of Beloit College via a weekly COVID Taskforce email that welcomed students back to campus and announced a shift in alert levels on campus. As of this week, the college switched from a Yellow Level emergency to a Green Level emergency. With this came the announcement that in-person activities could resume (with the approval of the COVID Taskforce) and that sports practices and seasons would resume as soon as possible. An email sent to all students on March 5th at 5PM mentioned that in both Rock and Winnebago counties, the daily average of diagnosed cases has fallen to a mere nine cases per 100,000. The email also noted that 18% of Wisconsin has received their first vaccine to combat the virus, and that 9.6% have received their second dose.
These statistics sound good — right? Rock County appears to be handling the virus well. However, the official website of the county offers more information regarding its COVID-19 statistics. The transparency of the website is appreciated, and discloses information such as daily cases, racial makeup of those infected with the virus in the county, number of active cases, etc. The Rock County website shows that on Friday, March 5th, the same day that Beloit College sent out its email regarding a drop in cases in the area, 16% of those tested for the coronavirus tested positive. This may not seem drastically high — it isn’t — but it is a bit of an uptick from previous weeks. This is the highest that the rate of positive cases has been in the county since it rang in at 21% on February 16th. Since then, the rate has fluctuated, but has not topped 15% until March 5th.
The number of positive cases Rock County has seen since the pandemic began last March is 14,459; currently, only 170 of these cases are active. 159 people have lost their lives in the county due to complications of COVID-19. In comparison to larger counties in the state of Wisconsin, Rock County still appears to be doing an excellent job keeping infection rates down. However, it is recommended, of course, that residents and those on Beloit’s campus continue to take precautions to lower the current 16% daily infection rate.
A way that Beloit College students can help to lower the rate of infection in Rock County is to always mask up! While there is technically nothing stopping us from wearing a mask outside when we are off campus, it is important that we still do so. Just because something is not explicitly stated in a mandate does not mean that it should be disregarded. Please continue to mask up when traveling into town, and of course, keep disinfecting and washing your hands. We can do this!