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County sees 379 COVID cases this month

BROWN COUNTY — In September, COVID-19 cases in Brown County reached a monthly high for 2021, with 379 positive tests, and the month is not over yet.

September 2021 is currently the third worst month in the county for positive COVID cases since the pandemic began. Only November 2020 with 1,041 cases and December 2020 with 586 cases were higher.

By Sept. 20, monthly case numbers had exceeded numbers from August, and in the last week there was a 136 spike in cases.

Brown County is averaging 19 new COVID cases a day. At this rate, the monthly total will be well over 400.

Public Health Director Karen Moritz said there is no specific event or gathering responsible for the latest increase. The delta variant is wide spread through the county and is circulating through the population.

Moritz said the delta variant of COVID spreads easier than previous variants. Minnesota was not hit by delta until July. The case count has been climbing ever since.

The majority of COVID cases are among the unvaccinated. Brown County Public Health reports a COVID breakthrough rate of 0.89%. This means less than 1% of vaccinated people are contracting COVID.

Moritz said from the beginning, the COVID vaccine was never expected to protect 100% of people, but this low breakthrough rate is encouraging. The vaccinated who do contract breakthrough COVID are still less likely to be hospitalized or die.

“Getting vaccinated is still the best defense,” Moritz said.

One of the largest demographics that is unvaccinated is children. The vaccine has not been approved for children under 12 and few kids between 12 and 17 have received the vaccine.

Of the 136 new COVID cases, 26% were under the age of 18. In Brown County, 69.8% of the 18 and over population has completed the vaccination series.

Public Health has seen a reduction in the number of vaccine doses. Countywide only 150 doses were administered last week. This is a 50% drop from last week.

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