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As major U.S. airlines canceled dozens of flights due to staff being sick with COVID-19 and the threat of more cases of the contagious Omicron virus looming, Rock County reported a positivity rate of 14.99% on Monday in line with state trends.

Many airline staff members have not been able to report to work during the busy holiday travel season due to COVID-19. According to FlightAware, which tracks flight cancellations, airlines have canceled roughly 4,000 flights to, from or inside the United States since Friday. Delta, United, JetBlue and American airlines have all reported staffing problems. United said it canceled 115 flights Monday, out of more than 4,000 scheduled, due to crews out with COVID-19, according to the Associated Press.

With the Omicron variant in Wisconsin and anticipated to cause a rapid increase in disease activity in the coming weeks, health officials encourage vaccinations.

According to November 2021 Wisconsin Department of Health Services data, people not fully vaccinated were diagnosed with COVID-19 at a rate five times higher than people who were fully vaccinated; hospitalized at a rate 11 times higher; and died from COVID-19 at a rate 12 times higher than people who were fully vaccinated.

For example, of 100,000 fully vaccinated people, as of the latest data available on Dec. 15, DHS reported 722.5 cases; 17.1 hospitalizations; and 2.8 deaths in the state. Of 100,000 not fully vaccinated people, for the same time period, DHS reported 3,348.2 cases; 184 hospitalizations; and 35 deaths. The data will be updated again on Jan. 15.

As of Monday, the latest data available as of press time, there were 697 cases of COVID-19 in the last seven days in Rock County, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website which was updated Monday. The case rate per 100,000 people was 426.68. The positivity rate was 14.99%. The percentage of the population more than 5 years of age which is fully vaccinated was 69.5%. New hospital admissions in Rock County for the past week totaled 44.

As of Monday, the average new cases per day in Wisconsin for the past seven days has been 3,375. The seven-day average of deaths per day in the state has been 25 and the seven day average state positivity rate was 15%.

As of Dec. 24, the latest data available as of press time, there were 58% of the total population of Wisconsin residents that have completed the vaccine series.

The Winnebago County (Illinois) Health Department did not release new numbers on Monday. As of Friday, the case rate was 527 per 100,000 people and the positivity rate was 9.3%. There was 54.3% of the county fully vaccinated.

On Dec. 23, the most recent data as of press time, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 77,246 new COVID-19 cases in Illinois, including an increase of 318 deaths since Dec. 17. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec.16-22 was 8.6%. Of Illinois’ total population, more than 71.8% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 64% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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