GREEN BAY – Investigators from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are expected to arrive in Brown County this weekend to investigate a recent explosion of COVID-19 cases in the Green Bay area.
The number of cases more than quadrupled in just 10 days.
The Wisconsin Emergency Management Department will join the CDC to send people to Brown County to help identify the source (s) of the recent coronavirus cases, county officials said.
Other northeastern Wisconsin County health departments may also participate.
County officials asked for help after worried about the spread of the virus earlier this week. In addition to the speed at which it was spreading, they fear that the virus will be transported to neighboring counties by people who come to Brown County to work or do business, and then return home.
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“Our biggest concern is the rate of new cases,” said Ted Shove, county environmental health director. “A few days ago, we were on the far left of the curve. … Our concern with asking for and bringing in additional resources is that we really want to slow the spread. “
The increase in the number of confirmed cases in Brown County is the most pronounced in the state since the spring elections. The state department of health services said the county had seen 41 positive tests as of April 7. By April 17, that number had more than quadrupled to 180.
This is an increase of 340%. During this period, state-wide totals increased by 57%.
According to Shove, the county’s concerns about the increase include the role that “a non-governmental organization with multiple sites throughout the county” could play in the spread of the virus. He said the county suspects a connection between “a group of cases” and a place where “the operations are not accessible to the public”.
Shove would not identify the organization and would not disclose any specific locations relating to health officials.
He said, however, that the county does not believe the elections earlier this month are responsible for the increase in cases in Brown County, at least so far.
Twenty-nine of the new Brown County cases reported by the state on Friday were in an area east of the East River and south of Main Street in Green Bay.
Most people who develop symptoms of COVID-19 do so within 12 days of infection. The election, which reduced the number of polling stations in Green Bay from 31 to two, and long queues outside the polling stations, took place on April 7.
County health officials initially shared little information at 3 p.m. Friday. conference call with journalists. Shove read a brief statement and then left the call. He and health worker Anna Destree spoke with the Green Bay Press-Gazette later today.
Destree said county residents don’t need to take extra precautions after the latest news, but said people should take advice seriously to stay home and avoid close contact with people. other people, not just when it seems convenient.
Statewide, out of 28 counties in Wisconsin with more than five cases on April 7, only two others saw their numbers double: Walworth County, which went from 21 to 75 cases (257%), and Racine County, which went from 66 cases to 157 (138%).
Milwaukee County had similar queues on election day after its 180 polling stations were reduced to five. But Milwaukee County has seen a 52% increase in confirmed cases over the same period – below the state average.
Milwaukee County has recently had a peak in positive cases, but this corresponds to a similar peak in tests (the percentage of all positive tests has remained stable). In Brown County, the increase in positive cases occurred while tests remained relatively stable.
Research on the first cases in China shows that the average incubation of the coronavirus was five days. The total number of cases in Brown County began to increase sharply on election day, suggesting that the election was not the only source of spread.
Andrew Mollica of the Sentinel Journal contributed to this report.
Contact Doug Schneider at (920) 431-8333 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @PGDougSchneider
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