CHIPPEWA FALLS — Counties with low COVID-19 vaccination rates in western Wisconsin continue to see new virus-related deaths.
On Tuesday, Rusk and Clark counties each recorded another death from virus-related symptoms, according to the Department of Health Services.
For Clark County, it is the second consecutive day with a new virus-related death, and the county’s 64th fatality. Clark County now is averaging 184 deaths per 100,000 residents, well ahead of the state’s average of 133 deaths per 100,000 residents.
Meanwhile, Rusk County recorded its 27th virus-related fatality. However, the county only had 17 virus-related deaths as of June 1 and 10 deaths since; thus, roughly 37% of their total deaths have come since June 1 and vaccinations were readily available across the state. Rusk County’s 10 deaths since June 1 is more than Eau Claire County (8), St. Croix County (8), Chippewa County (9) or Dunn County (5), despite having fewer residents.
Rusk County’s death rate is now 190 deaths per 100,000 residents.
The two counties’ high death rates comes at the same time that they are second- and third-lowest in vaccination rates among Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Only 32.5% of Clark County’s 34,700 residents have received their first shot, with just 44.0% of adults having a first dose.
Likewise, just 36.6% of Rusk County residents have taken their first dose, with 44.2% of adults taking their first shot. Only Taylor County (31.2%) has a lower vaccination rate than Clark and Rusk counties; Taylor County’s death rate is also above the state average, at 137 deaths per 100,000 residents.
Across Wisconsin, another 2,090 COVID-19 cases were reported on Tuesday, along with 12 deaths. The state has now recorded 7,771 confirmed virus-related deaths.
The 12 counties across western Wisconsin have now recorded 11 deaths in the first 14 days of September, matching the number of deaths in those same dozen counties in all of July.
Meanwhile, Wisconsin’s vaccination rate has climbed to 55.8% of all state residents, including 66.7% of all adults (ages 18+). However, Wisconsin continues to trail the national rate, where 63.2% of all U.S. residents have received their first shot, including 75.7% of all adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.