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Brown County urges mask wearing as COVID-19 cases, deaths increase – WBAY

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) – Three female COVID-19 patients died over the weekend in Brown County as trends show a higher percentage of positive cases.

The patients were identified as follows:

Female, age 29, from 54301 Zip Code

Female, age 63, from 54304 Zip Code

Female, age 87, from 54304 Zip Code

In total, 42 coronavirus patients have died in Brown County.

As of Monday, fourteen coronavirus patients are hospitalized in Brown County.

The county’s positive test total jumped by 88 over the weekend. Overall, 2,857 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Brown County.

A total of 2,544 have recovered from coronavirus in the county.

Dr. Ashok Rai, CEO of Prevea Health, cited concerns over the increasing percentage of positive COVID-19 test results in recent weeks along with the sheer demand for tests.

“We put a line of best fit, and that is now flipped going upward where when we decided that it was ok even though we didn’t have a Badger Bounce Back Plan that maybe it was time to go through phases, that line was pointing in the other direction. It was was going downward,” said Dr. Rai, referencing a graph tracking the percentage of positive COVID-19 test results on a weekly basis starting on May 24.

Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach and local health officials held a news conference Monday. Streckenbach is encouraging everyone to wear a mask in public.

“The mask is really truly protecting you from giving it to someone else,” says Streckenbach.

Right now, there is no requirement to wear masks locally or at the state level.

“The fact that we’re one of the few states that doesn’t have some form of order talking about masks in the public, I think that’s another conversation that probably needs to start to take place,” said Streckenbach.

While making mask wearing mandatory is an internal conversation at the county level right now, it is also being discussed by health experts across the state.

The county executive recommends residents and visitors look to businesses that have displayed a reopening poster in windows. That indicates the business is following Brown County Public Health guidelines to keep customers and employees safe.

CLICK HERE to view the Reopening Brown County public health guidelines.

“We’re starting to see the edges of the eye coming open again,” says Streckenbach. He stresses that it is critical that Brown County “doubles down” to fight the pandemic.

Brown County Public Health Officer Anna Destree showed a graph that indicates trends show the 21-30-year old demographic has increased significantly in June.

“A lot of it is personal accountability,” Destree says.

Contact tracers have learned that people in the age group have reported going to weddings, bars, restaurants and family gatherings without wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

Destree stresses people should ask themselves “What is the risk?” when going to a gathering.

She says younger people may not be hospitalized in large numbers, but they could spread the illness to people at high risk.

“It’s not as much about the 21- to 30-year-olds. It’s who they socialize with. You know that they have family members, potentially, or friends that could be immunocompromised,” said Destree. “They could have a mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, eventually they may touch or share a touch-point with someone who it could have a significant impact and they could get ill from COVID-19 which could result in some serious complications and/or death.”

Destree and Streckenbach encourages anyone going out for a July 4 party or gathering keep the six-feet distance, wear masks and have hand sanitizer.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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