File photo courtesy Walgreens

News release

APPLETON — The Outagamie County Health Division on Friday warned that they are seeing an increase in the number of positive cases of COVID-19 reported by local health care providers.

Since Sept. 1, the daily average of reported positive COVID-19 cases has tripled in the county, according to a news release from public health

This week alone, more than 20 percent of reported COVID-19 test results have been positive.

Health officials say this is only a small percentage of probable cases because at-home tests are in wide use and results are not required to be reported to county health officials.

What is different this year than previous years?

Proven-safe vaccines are now available to that will combat COVID-19 as well as the flu and the RSV virus.

The COVID-19 vaccines first made available last week and flu vaccines are updated to provide protection for the latest strains.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services encourages everyone 6 months of age and older to stay up to date on their vaccines.

It’s widely known among health professionals that vaccines are the best protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Vaccines currently are available at local Walgreens and CVS pharmacies and appointments can be scheduled online. You can also heck vaccines.gov to find locations near you.

Also, starting Monday, Sept. 25, you can go to Covidtests.gov and order free at-home COVID rapid tests.

Before you throw out expired tests check to see if your COVID-19 tests’ expiration dates have been extended.

If you are underinsured or do not have health insurance you can get tested for free at several Walgreens locations in Outagamie County. This is possible through the CDC ICATT program. To find a site near you visit testinglocator.cdc.gov/

Finally, Outagamie County health officials urge residents to take preventative action. Stay home if you are sick or feeling unwell. Cover coughs and sneezes, wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face.

If you think you have been exposed or you test positive, visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website for guidance: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/about.htm

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By staff