Grim Kenosha County COVID Assessment; Guard Testing Resumes in Racine

Sept. 15, 2021 9:15p

(WGTD)---Strained testing resources, a relatively low vaccination rate and rising numbers of COVID cases and hospitalizations have Kenosha Public Health Director Jen Freiheit concerned that the surge in virus cases is going to get worse. In fact, at a meeting of the county's health board this week, Freiheit called the situation "grim."

On Tuesday, the number of COVID hospitalizations in Kenosha County numbered 45. At the height of the pandemic late last year, daily hospitalizations peaked between 60 and 65, she said.

New Kenosha County cases reported by the state Wednesday totaled 70. There were five deaths reported, bringing the pandemic's total in the county to 334, according to the state numbers.

Freiheit indicated that the number of new cases in the county could actually be higher than what's being reported because officials have no way of knowing the results of home testing, unless a user confirms the results with a test administered by a professional.

Testing resources have also been lagging. Freiheit told the board she has put in a call to bring the National Guard back to perform tests, but the earliest they could come was the end of the month. 

The City of Racine has had better luck in pulling in the Guard. Testing will resume at Festival Hall Thursday from noon to 6. Then beginning next week, regular twice-weekly testing will be offered on Mondays and Thursdays from noon to six.

Racine's Public Health Dept. announced Wednesday that free face masks will be available at city firehouses weekdays from nine to four beginning on Monday. The Racine City Council recently reinstated a mandatory face mask ordinance for indoor public places.