The number of Wisconsin counties identified as having critically high coronavirus disease activity doubled in the past week with most clustered in the northwestern part of the state, including three bordering Rusk County.

Critically high disease activity status based on case burden rates per 100,000 populations and trajectory percent case changes was assigned to Barron, Douglas, Marinette, Marquette, Polk, St. Croix, Sawyer and Washburn counties. Rusk County and most other parts of the state still are identified with very high COVID-19 disease activity. Only Dane and  Menominee counties were listed lower with high activity.

Wisconsin’s seven-day average of COVID-19 cases reached its highest level in more than five weeks. The state Department of Health Services reported 3,162 new confirmed cases last Thursday. That pushed the rolling average to 2,649, its highest level since Oct. 6.

There have been 823,369 confirmed cases in the state. The death toll is now 8,722, or 1.06 percent of all cases.

Test positivity averaged 10 percent for the most recent seven-day period.

Hospitalizations also were with the Wisconsin Hospital Association reporting it treated 1,077 COVID-19 patients last Friday, or 15 more than the prior day and 130 more than a week earlier. Of those, 294 were in intensive care last Friday, nine more than the prior day and 42 more than a week earlier.

Of the 1,353 ICU beds in the state, 70 were immediately available, or about 5.17 percent

In the northwest region, there were 117 COVID-19 patients last Friday, up 5 from the prior day and 21 over a week. Of those, 11 were in ICUs, the same as the prior day but up two over a week.  With 72 total ICU beds available in the northwest part of the state, none were immediately available.

As of last Friday, Rusk County has had 2,196 total positive cases, 35 deaths and 169 hospitalizations since the pandemic began in early 2020. Last Friday, Rusk County Public Health reported 14 new cases.

State health officials have not updated vaccine data for last week.

As of Nov. 5, the total population in Rusk County that has completed the vaccine series is 37.6 percent compared with 55.1 percent statewide.

The adult population in Rusk County that has completed the vaccine series is 45.3 percent compared with 65.9 percent statewide.

Rusk County Public Health is scheduling booster vaccine appointments. All three brands of boosters are available including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. Booster shots are available for individuals 65 years and older, or for individuals 18 years and older with underlying medical conditions. They are also available for front-line workers.

Boosters are available for all three vaccines. To sign-up with county health for a COVID-19 booster, complete the survey at or call 715-532-2218 and provide your name, phone number and what brand booster you are interested in. A county health staff member will reach out to you about scheduling an appointment. Be patient waiting for a response.

DHS also announces children 5-11 years old are now eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses 21 days apart for full protection, and is the first and only vaccine currently available for this age group.

Parents and guardians of children ages 5-11 can schedule a vaccination using a variety of options, including with their health care provider, at community-based vaccination clinics, local and tribal health departments, or pharmacies.  To find vaccination locations currently offering the Pfizer pediatric vaccine, go to You can also call 211 for help finding a health care provider or a vaccination location.

DHS also urges Wisconsin families to take the steps necessary to protect themselves and their communities: mask up when in indoor public settings or outside where physical distancing is not possible, stay home if you are feeling sick, and get tested if you’re experiencing any symptoms or have been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Sites in this area include:

 Walmart, 800 W. 10th St. S, Ladysmith.

Prevea, 1101 Lake Ave. W, Ladysmith. Complete an appointment request form at

Marshfield Medical Center, 900 College Ave. W, Ladysmith. Complete an appointment request form at or call 877-998-0880.

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