NEW RICHMOND — St. Croix County Public Health has extended its COVID-19 health advisory until Feb. 8.

"We are at a critical point in fighting this pandemic and we need everyone to take this seriously for the health of our community," the department stated Tuesday in a news release. "The total number of St. Croix County residents testing positive for COVID-19 in November of 2021 was 2,753, which was the highest number of cases recorded in a month for St. Croix County so far in the pandemic."

Twenty-five St. Croix County residents have died due to COVID-19 since the surge started in September, the department indicated.

Under the advisory, Public Health recommends every individual age 5 and older in St. Croix County wear a face mask if they are not fully vaccinated or if they are vaccinated but are in the following locations:

• In public indoor settings when the level of community transmission in St. Croix County is at a “substantial” or “high” level.

• At local businesses and workplaces that ask individuals to mask.

• In healthcare settings.

• In K-12 schools (students, staff and visitors).

• At a place where masks are required by local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations.

• If they are residents or employees in a correctional or detention facility, jail, or homeless shelter.

St. Croix County Public Health said it strongly recommends all residents 5 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19 and urged anyone with medical concerns about the vaccine to talk with a doctor.

The agency pointed out that in October there were 2,255.1 COVID-19 cases statewide per 100,000 population among individuals who were not fully vaccinated, nearly five times the 456.4 cases per 100,000 among fully vaccinated individuals. Additionally, unvaccinated individuals are more likely to be hospitalized and die from the virus.

The agency indicated the advisory follows the public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is based on the latest scientific data on COVID-19.