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Rising Cases in the City of Beloit and Surrounding Areas

As we approach the final days of the summer season, COVID-19 still poses a threat to Beloit and the surrounding areas. Beloit has an increase of 77 new cases of COVID-19, according to data conducted by the state of Wisconsin. Individuals from the ages of 15-34 years old show the highest data of confirmed COVID-19 cases. 

In the surrounding area, Janesville has reported an even higher number of cases in comparison to the city of Beloit. Last week Janesville reported 120 confirmed cases; many of whom had not fully been vaccinated yet says Dr. Ryan Westergaard, Chief Medical Officer and State Epidemiologist for Communicable Diseases. Dr. Westergaard advises the public to continue to “use all of our effective prevention tools,” such as getting vaccinated, wearing a mask indoors during gatherings, and staying home if feeling sick. As cases rise in the state of Wisconsin due to the highly more contagious Delta variant, it’s important that we continue to take these precautions experts state. 

According to health agencies in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois, a little over 50% of citizens have fully completed the vaccination series. According to recent data from as early as Aug. 27, the Illinois Department of Public Health has reported 25,636 of possible cases for their state. Rock County Epidemiologist Nick Zupan, advocates for an increase of individuals to get fully vaccinated to fight against the more contagious variants that continue to float around various parts of the U.S.. The CDC website estimates that only 52.4% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. 

Since the start of the pandemic data from Rock County shows that there have been 17,566 cases and 190 deaths. The most recent data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services tell us that the average of new COVID-19 cases per day is 1,702 based on a 7-day average system. This number has jumped to a little over 100 additional cases since last week’s data. Beloit Daily Newspaper sources inform us that the number of people who need to be hospitalized has significantly jumped from data compared to July’s hospitalization data. In July only 79 people who had a confirmed case of COVID-19 needed to be hospitalized. Compared to data from as recent as Aug. 24, 755 people required hospitalization due to the virus. The numbers alone show a consequential jump of an influx of cases. Rock County’s website for Coronavirus Response and Recovery shows that the current level of Coronavirus transmission is categorized as: HIGH; according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker. Rock County’s website also gives helpful information on knowing what activities may be considered a high risk situation for contracting the virus. Activities such as eating out in restaurants, going to public gyms, bars, or amusement parks rank on the high risk end. Things such as grocery shopping, activities outside, eating outside at restaurants pose less of a risk but when doing so should still take protective measures issued by the CDC. 

The CDC released a statement saying that fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to wear masks when in public spaces. The city of Beloit continues to follow the requirements and guidelines provided by the CDC. The citywide requirement is no longer in place but face coverings are still required inside city-owned facilities, as well as private businesses that chose to uphold this requirement. Though this only goes to say for the city of Beloit itself. As for Beloit College, there are different guidelines in place that apply to all students, staff, faculty, and guests that arrive on campus. Regardless of vaccination status one must adhere to the mask policy when in an enclosed space where there are gatherings. The college does not require one to wear a mask when outdoors. On top of that the college does encourage individuals who have not fully been vaccinated to make an appointment. Signs saying “you’re worth a shot,” could be seen when walking throughout campus.

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