A collected sample is dropped into a medical bag as members of the Wisconsin National Guard medical team assist with free COVID-19 drive-thru testing at Blackhawk Technical College.

The number of people sickened or killed by COVID-19 continues to climb in Rock County.

Since Thursday, the county has reported seven new COVID-19 deaths for a total of 55, according to data from the Rock County Public Health Department.

The state Department of Health Services website shows eight of those deaths occurred in the last two weeks.

The number of people in Rock County hospitals with COVID-19 hit another record with 53 people hospitalized as of Monday, according to the data. That’s up 17 hospitalizations from a week ago.

The county has 2,279 active and confirmed cases of COVID-19, up 41 from Sunday.

On Monday, 138 new cases were reported, bringing the county’s total to 6,747. Sunday broke a record for new cases at 232.

Of new test results reported Monday, 30% were positive. In its reopening plan, the county aims for a 5% positivity rate when averaged over 14 days.

The lowest positivity rate in the past 14 days was 17% on Oct. 29.

Epidemiologist Nick Zupan has said any positivity rate above 10% is concerning.

Rock County residents ages 15 to 24 once accounted for a majority of cases, with a wide margin between them and other age groups.

Now, 15- to 24-year-olds still claim the largest portion of cases at 18%, but people ages 45 to 54 account for 17% of cases.