COVID-19 is hitting the area hard once again, according to Barron County Public Health.

There were 30 hospitalizations last week alone, the department stated in a news release on Monday.

Case numbers were unknown because the state reporting system was down. But at last count Barron County had 6,845 cumulative cases, which is up 67 from the report from Sept. 7.

Barron County is currently experiencing “high” levels of community transmission. “Because of this everyone, regardless of vaccination status, should wear a mask when in public,” Public Health stated.

“This is not the same virus we were dealing with last year, said Health Officer Laura Sauve. “We are seeing this COVID virus spread more easily than it did last fall.”

Health official say best way to stop the spread is to get vaccinated. Vaccines prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death and they are effective against the new Delta variant. Having most people in your area vaccinated will reduce spread of the virus in the community and help prevent new variants from developing. In Barron County, only 53 percent of those who are eligible for vaccination are fully vaccinated.

Barron County Public Health offers free Pfizer vaccines for those 12 and older and free Johnson and Johnson vaccines for those 18 and older. Vaccines are available Monday-Friday at the Government Center in Barron. Call 715-537-5691, extension 6442 for more information.

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