Much like everywhere else, positive COVID-19 case numbers starting to reach levels of this past spring in Allamakee County

The weekly updates by the Iowa Department of Public Health of positive COVID-19 case numbers have begun to reveal increased levels in Allamakee County not seen since mid-March of this year. After declining to an average of single-digit weekly positive case numbers in late spring and throughout the summer - at times hovering right around no new positive cases reported, the past two weeks have seen those positive case numbers increase to between 15 and 20 cases per week, with the week of March 9-15 earlier this year being the last time Allamakee County reported as many as 20 new positive cases for a reported week’s timeframe.

Allamakee County Public Health officials say that a great majority of the new positive cases being reported are of the Delta variant or a sub-lineage of that variant. Sheryl Darling-Mooney with Allamakee County Public Health also notes that a majority of the new cases are individuals who have not been vaccinated and further notes that the handful of vaccinated individuals who are testing positive are experiencing much milder symptoms than those who have not been vaccinated.

“No vaccine is going to completely prevent everyone from getting sick, but they are designed to provide a greater immunity response that keeps that sickness from being too severe, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing in the few who have been vaccinated but still test positive,” Darling-Mooney said. “The best way we have to fight this virus is to get vaccinated against it.”

Darling-Mooney does note that Public Health has been seeing an increase in the number of vaccines being distributed locally since case numbers have begun to rise again. “Just today (Friday, August 27) we gave 60 vaccinations, a combination of first- and second-doses,” she noted. “We’re pretty happy with that number, but we need to keep seeing that number every Friday when we have these vaccination clinics.”

Additional details about local vaccination efforts can be found on Page 5 of this week’s edition of The Standard.

Darling-Mooney further noted that nearly one-third of the new positive cases within the past couple weeks of rising numbers have been in individuals in the age range of 30-39 years, with nearly a fourth of those most recent cases being in 18-29 year olds. She said cases in the most at-risk group - ages 60 and over - have basically been non-existent locally in this most recent rise in cases, but the fact that more than 13% of the new local cases have been in the youngest age range of 17 and under is something to keep an eye on as the school year is now underway in the county.

“Hopefully we can keep this latest surge from gaining much more ground,” Darling-Mooney shared. “Just like it has throughout the entire pandemic, it takes all of us doing what we can to keep it under control.”

The State of Iowa provides weekly updates on positive case numbers each Wednesday on its COVID-19 website, Updates on hospitalizations in each county from COVID-19 are also updated each Thursday on that same website.