CHIPPEWA FALLS — The state’s Department of Health Services reported another 44 COVID-19-related deaths between Saturday and Monday, including eight in western Wisconsin.

Over the past three days, the state saw another 5,200 new virus cases reported.

Barron County reported three new deaths, Clark County had two fatalities, while Eau Claire, Pierce and Rusk counties had one each.

Just 11 days into October, a dozen counties that comprise western Wisconsin have now reported 21 virus-related deaths. That is more fatalities than those same counties reported in each of June, July, or August. Deaths in those 12 counties spiked to 42 in September, the highest mark since January.

The state is now averaging 140.0 virus-related deaths per 100,000 residents. However, areas with low vaccination rates — particularly Rusk, Barron and Clark counties — continue to see a climb in deaths, higher than the state average.

With the newly reported deaths, Rusk is now averaging 225.7 virus-related fatalities per 100,000 residents, while Barron is now at 196.7 and Clark is at 201.3.

In comparison, Dane County — which leads the state with 74.1% of residents having received at least one vaccination dose — has the second-lowest death rate, at 61.3 per 100,000 residents.

The state’s overall vaccination rate remains at 57.1% of all residents having received at least one dose, including 68.3% of all adults ages 18 and older. In comparison, the national average is 65.3% of Americans have taken at least one dose, including 78.2% of all adults.

Trempealeau County (61.6% with a dose) is the only county in the region ahead of the state’s vaccination rate.