Langlade County Health Officer Jean Weston said the COVID burden of illness for the county was 116.3 per 100,000 and is still considered high, as of late last week. There has been no significant change in the county’s disease rate from the previous two-week period.

The Wisconsin burden of illness was 199.9 per 100,000.

The positivityr rate for Langlade County was 2.8% and is still considered low. Only 641 tests were performed during that time period. The Wisconsin positivity rate was 3.2%.

There are new variants of the virus present in Wisconsin.

“It is important that anyone with symptoms be tested so that continued surveillance for the new variants can occur,” Weston said. “There have been no variants identified in Langlade County at this time.”

The Langlade County Health Department continues to advise the use of masks to help control the spread of COVID.

Groups that are currently eligible to receive the vaccine include health care workers; EMS, fire department and police departments; and persons 65 and older.

These groups are determined by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, not local health departments.

The federal government owns and controls the distribution of vaccine to the states.

Johnson & Johnson has requested emergency-use authorization from the FDA for its single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. The decision is anticipated on Friday.

The federal government is partnering with Wisconsin Walgreens stores to provide COVID vaccine. More information is available from Walgreens.

Vaccine is available from the Veterans Administration for veterans enrolled in VA health care.

For those enrolled in the Iron Mountain VA system, call 800-215-8262, ext. 33115.

For those enrolled in the Tomah VA system, call 800-872-8662, ext. 66274.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has announced the launch of a new Wisconsin COVID-19 Vaccine Registry on March 1 that will help connect people with available vaccine.

A vaccinated person who is exposed to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 is not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria: they are fully vaccinated, they are vaccinated within 90 days and they display no symptoms of COVID-19. If a person has been fully vaccinated and experiences symptoms of COVID-19, they should seek testing, Weston said.

As of Thursday:

— About 13.1% of Wisconsin residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In total (first and second doses), more than 1 million doses have been given in Wisconsin.

— 43.2 % of Wisconsinites 65 and older have received their first dose of vaccine.

— About 11.5% of Langlade County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In total (first and second doses), 3,219 doses have been given to Langlade County residents.

— 29.6% of Langlade County residents 65 and older have received their first dose of vaccine.

The Langlade County Health Department has administered 980 total doses. Of these doses, 711 have been first doses, and 437 (61.5%) of these first doses have been provided to individuals in the 65 or older eligibility group. This percent may be slightly higher, as there have been individuals 65 years or older who were vaccinated as a prior eligible group (health care worker, fire or police).

In total, the Langlade County Health Department has provided about 30.4% of the total vaccinations received by its county residents.

The benchmark for local health departments is 14%., Weston said.

Vaccine allocation continues to be less than what is requested.