Door County COVID-19 Cases on the Rise

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Door County rose quickly this week. Thirteen new positive tests were reported this week through Wednesday, bringing the county’s total to 66. That has prompted the state to change the county’s status to a high activity level of Covid-19.

Door County Public Health Manager Sue Powers has expected an increase as tourists have flocked to the peninsula and as orders to stay home and to close bars and restaurants were lifted in May.

Powers told the Door County Board of Supervisors during a special meeting July 10 that contact tracing is becoming increasingly difficult for her department. 

Visitors who claim residence outside of Door County are not recorded in Door County’s COVID-19 statistics, but are instead counted in their own county of residence. Powers said in late June that there were fewer than 10 such cases, but now that number is on the rise. 

“We have an increasing amount of contact notifications. In other words, many more people are being exposed to the virus,” Powers said. “We have an increasing amount of notifications about contacts here [that] we need to follow up with because people in those counties have returned from visits to Door County and tested positive.” 

During the July 10 meeting, the board discussed a countywide masking order. In the public-comment session, multiple people questioned the effectiveness of masks – a notion that Powers strongly refuted. She said the board should not be debating the effectiveness of masks.

“I don’t believe this should be disputed,” she said. “They are an effective way, when worn correctly, to reduce the spread of COVID.”

Door County Medical Center staff submitted a statement in support of a countywide masking order. The county has not taken any official action on an order.

As of July 15, Door County had performed 3,633 tests for COVID-19, with 64 positive results. There are 22 active cases and 41 recovered, with 227 tests pending. Three patients have died. Cases have been reported by residents in all areas of the county, Powers said. Kewaunee County has now reported 83 positive results. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 26 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized in northeast Wisconsin. 

Statewide on Tuesday, Wisconsin reported 964 positive test results. That’s the state’s highest single-day total, with 293 patients hospitalized, up from a low of 236 hospitalized on June 29 but below the peak of 446 reached on April 9.