Jefferson and Dodge counties both added single COVID-19 deaths to their counts in recent days.

State Department of Health Services statistics showed that, as of Tuesday, there were seven total COVID-19 related deaths in Jefferson County and six in Dodge County. Jefferson County has now surpassed 1,000 COVID-19 cases.

“The Jefferson County Health Department staff members were sad to learn of another person who died of COVID-19 who resided in Jefferson County,” Jefferson County Health Department Director Gail Scott said Tuesday. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family.”

Dodge County recorded its sixth COVID-19 related death last week.

Dodge County Public Health Officer Abby Sauer said the latest death was a male in his 70s, who lived in his own home and not a group facility.

Sauer said the number of COVID-19 cases in the county are remaining steady.

“We were seeing a surge, because of all the gatherings people have had,” Sauer said.

Sauer admitted her frustration because of an increase in the caseload at times, which can be prevented if individuals follow the recommendations set for them.

“Some people have the mentality, ‘It won’t happen to me’ and then they become sick,” she said. “It’s frustrating to see people not wearing a mask. It’s frustrating to hear people say they are not going to wear them.”

Sauer said masks do work in preventing the community spread of the virus. She also said people should remain six feet apart, wash their hands and stay home from work or school if they are sick.

“All of these recommendations do help in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” Sauer said. “Masks are a barrier and, although they may not work 100 percent, they do slow the spread and the amount of droplets in the air. It’s something to help.”

Scott said it is important to remember that COVID-19 is still a contagious disease that affects people differently — from no symptoms, to severe issues that can lead to death.

“We must continue to practice the mitigation strategies that we know work to prevent this disease,” Scott said. “We can’t predict who will have mild symptoms and who will end up with life-long effects of the virus. Continue to stay home if you are sick, isolate or quarantine as recommended by public health, wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart and limit time with others as much as possible.”

Scott said the county continues to see outbreaks related to workplaces, bars, long term care facilities and family gatherings.

“We want to prevent as many cases as possible,” she said.

Sauer said she is not sure how the flu season will affect COVID-19 and vice versa.

“We could see very low numbers associated with the flu, because people are wearing masks, washing their hands more and remaining six feet apart from each other,” she said. “We just don’t know yet.”

Jefferson County has set aside Friday and Saturday of this week to conduct free COVID-19 testing at the county’s fair park in Jefferson. The event runs Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is open to Wisconsin residents ages 5 and older. Symptoms are not a requirement. Registration is recommended at Register.covidconnect.wi.gov.

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