NEW ULM – Brown County Public Health Director Karen Moritz told the county board Tuesday that laboratory-confirmed Brown County COVID-19 cases jumped to 126 so far in May.
Case numbers are now the highest they have been since early February. Moritz said there have been six COVID admissions in May, nine in April and four in March.
Moritz said there have been no COVID deaths in May that she is aware of.
Brown County COVID hospital admissions peaked at 62 in November 2020, declining last summer and starting to rise again last fall, reaching 35 in October 2021 and 313 in January 2022.
The number of child cases is rising slowly after reaching the 100 in January 2022. The number of cases for children aged 18 and under was 10% in April and May 2022. They peaked at 35% in May 2021 and 31% in October 2021.
Moritz said people need to be aware of how to deal with rising COVID rates.
“Immunocompromised people should consider masking indoors. Tests should be performed if you are symptomatic,” she said.
“A lot of people are doing home tests now. That’s probably the norm now. All clinics are still testing. Moritz told The Journal on Wednesday.
She said positive COVID-19 tests performed at home are not reported to public health. She added that people who test positive should be quarantined and isolated for 10 days, the first five days at home.
If they feel better after five days and do not have a fever, people can go back in public, but they should wear masks.
“People can still order (COVID) tests from the state of Minnesota and the federal government,” added Moritz.
“It is important that people have access to testing. Home testing has provided that. People can isolate and inform others if they are exposed to prevent the spread.” said Moritz.
“Home tests do not give a really clear picture of COVID, but we have hospitalization numbers and wastewater monitoring is performed,” she added.
Moritz stressed the need for the public to vaccinate.
Booster shots are available for ages 5-11. People aged 50 and over should get an extra booster, “ she said. “Vaccine efficacy remains high. It reduces hospitalization and death rates.”
(Fritz Busch can be emailed at [email protected])