Columbia County Public Health has pushed the activity level of COVID-19 within the county to a “critically high” level, according to its most recent weekly update. The latest update was Wednesday, Nov. 18.

As the case numbers continue to surge across the county, and state, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) added a the “critically high” category to “give a better picture of the impact of COVID-19 across the state.”

The “critically high” category is nearly three times higher than the “very high” category which the county has been at for several weeks. The state and 65 of its 72 counties are at the newly created level.

In Columbia County, there have been 378 new positive cases since the previous update on Nov. 11. It brings the total number of positive cases to 2,855 since testing began. Of that number, 1,965 have recovered, 144 were ever hospitalized and there have been 10 deaths. It leaves 880 active cases in the county.

There have also been 21,415 total negative tests and 752 between Nov. 11-18, twice the number of positive cases.

In total, there are 61 active investigations within the county — 23 in educational facilities and 17 in non-healthcare work places.

The highest rate of positive cases have been to those aged 20-59, as that group has accounted for 67% of all positive case.

Here is a breakdown of the age groups, with positive cases:

— Ages 9 and younger: Positive cases, 90 (3.2%)

— Ages 10-19: Positive cases, 306 (10.7%)

— Ages 20-29: Positive cases, 496 (17.4%)

— Ages 30-39: Positive cases, 464 (16.3%)

— Ages 40-49: Positive cases, 433 (15.2%)

— Ages 50-59: Positive cases, 509 (17.8%)

— Ages 60-69: Positive cases, 296 (10.4%)

— Ages 70-79: Positive cases, 165 (5.8%)

— Ages 80-89: Positive cases, 74 (2.6%)

— Ages 90 and older: Positive cases, 22 (0.8%)

County testing sites

On Friday, Dec. 4, the county is holding a free testing site at the Cambria Fire Department from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The site is open to all and no appointments are necessary. However, in an effort to save time, people are asked to register online by no sooner than 24 hours in advance at https://register.covidconnect.wi.gov/en-US/.

Testing can also be done at Aspirus Divine Savior Healthcare in Portage and at Prairie Ridge Health in Columbus.

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