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As Rock County reached a record number of active COVID-19 on Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced it received the first allocation of oral antiviral COVID-19 treatments molnupiravir and Paxlovid to treat patients with mild to moderate cases.

The initial supply of the medication available to states from the federal government is extremely limited. Health care providers are encouraged to prioritize prescribing the new therapeutics to those patients at greatest risk of serious illness or hospitalization from COVID-19.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued emergency use authorizations for the two antiviral pills to be taken at home. They must be taken within five days of when a person’s symptoms begin. Paxlovid can be used by people over age 12 who do not take certain medications, and molnupiravir is for adults over 18 who are not pregnant or breastfeeding.

“While these new antiviral pills may help treat COVID-19, it’s important to remember these drugs are not a substitution for protecting yourself by getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public places,” DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake said in a press release.

“We anticipate high demand for these medications, and we know that the initial supply we are receiving will be extremely limited. Please be patient as providers will prioritize people at highest risk for developing serious illness from the virus. We are committed to distributing these pills equitably across the state, and access will increase as Wisconsin receives more allocations from the federal government.”

Rock County reached a record number of active cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, reporting 2,960 active cases. The second highest number of cases during the pandemic was 2,532 on Nov. 17, 2020.

As of Wednesday, there were 368 reported new cases and two deaths in Rock County. The total number of local cases since the pandemic began reached 26,180 and the total amount of deaths is 254, according to Rock County Public Health Department data.

The case rate per 100,000 people was 788. The percentage of the population in the county fully vaccinated was 62.5%.

There were 54 people hospitalized with COVID-19 complications in the county as of Jan. 4.

As of Wednesday, the average number of new cases per day in Wisconsin for the past seven days was 6,260. The seven-day average of deaths per day in the state has been 21, and the seven-day average state positivity rate was 25.1%.

As of Wednesday, the latest data available as of press time, there were 58.3% of the total population of Wisconsin residents who have completed the vaccine series.

Illinois

In Winnebago County in Illinois on Wednesday, the case rate was 551 per 100,000 people which is increasing and the positivity rate was 17.5% which is also increasing. There was 54.7% of the county fully vaccinated, according to information from the Winnebago County Health Department.

As of Dec. 30, the most recent data as of press time, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported 128,246 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, including an increase of 386 deaths since Dec. 23, 2021. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 2,149,548 cases, including 27,821 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec. 23-29, 2021 was 14.4%.

Of Illinois’ total population, more than 72% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose and more than 64% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On Jan. 4, the IDPH announced an updated timeline for those who received the Pfizer vaccine series. The wait for a booster shot after the Pfizer series has been shortened to five months. The wait times for Moderna (six months) and Johnson & Johnson (two months) remain the same.

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