COVID Infection-rate Gap Closes, But Fewer Hospitalizations and Deaths for Vaccinated

It used to be that the unvaccinated would contract COVID-19 at a rate 1.1 times higher than the vaccinated. That is no longer true.

The vaccinated are “almost getting it at the same rate,” said Sue Powers, Door County health officer/public health manager, during a May 9 update to the Health and Human Services Committee. “The difference is that the vaccinated are less frequently hospitalized and have fewer deaths.”

Jim Heise, Door County Medical Center (DCMC) chief medical officer and a Health and Human Services Committee member, said DCMC had three COVID-19 patients last week and one this week, and all were there for something other than COVID-19.

“We’re seeing a lot milder cases,” he said, with the hospital no longer in crisis mode. “Right now we at the hospital are feeling pretty good about things relative to the pandemic.” 

Confirmed COVID-19 disease cases in Door County have plummeted 96%, COVID investigations 82%, from January through April 2022. ‘Investigations’ reflect how many people are getting tested, or how many tests are being performed, said Sue Powers, Door County Health Officer/Public Health Manager. Public health department staff response is triggered only by a positive test, and dependent upon the type of communicable disease. For COVID-positive tests, these days, public health action is minimal. It was a day they were hoping for when the pandemic began two years ago. “The workload is down, but it’s not gone completely – unfortunately,” Powers said. Chart source: Door County Public Health.

Door County Public Health continues to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to all those who are eligible, with a top priority of minimizing hospitalizations and deaths. People are best protected from severe COVID-19 illness when they stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, which includes a booster to further enhance or restore protection for many people. 

Vaccination clinics are held weekly on Tuesday afternoons in Sturgeon Bay, and monthly clinics are offered in Sister Bay and on Washington Island. 

To see a complete list of vaccination-clinic offerings, follow the department on Facebook or visit To get information about booster doses or general COVID-19 concerns, help with scheduling an appointment or answers concerning positive at-home tests, call 920.746.2234.