JVG_201013_COVID

Registered nurse Kaelyn Duesterbeck waits with testing materials in hand as a vehicle pulls into a drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at Mercyhealth North in Janesville.

Rock County reported its highest number of new and active coronavirus infections, its highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, and its highest test positivity rate Monday.

The number of active and confirmed infections in Rock County increased 35% from Friday’s 693 to Monday’s 941, the most seen in the county at a given time, according to data from the county’s public health department.

There were 30 hospitalizations reported Friday and Monday. The county’s previous record for hospitalizations was 27.

Monday’s hospitalization count was triple that of Sept. 11, one month prior. Data was not collected Sept. 12.

Two new deaths were reported over the weekend, bringing the county’s death toll to 36. Those deaths occurred Wednesday and Thursday.

Rock County’s number of all-time COVID-19 cases totals 2,446.

Monday saw 143 new cases reported, the most in a single day. It was the third time in four days the county reported more than 100 new confirmed cases in one day. Before Friday, the most new cases reported in a single day was 77, according to health department data.

Of coronavirus test results reported Monday, 83% were positive, topping the previous high positivity rate of 57% reported Sept. 6. The last time the county reported a daily positivity rate in the single digits was Sept. 30. The county’s goal is to maintain a 14-day average positivity rate of 5% or lower.

The onslaught of new cases came before any tests were taken at a new public testing site in Janesville, set to run Monday through Friday at Dawson Ball Fields.

It is the first public testing site open in Rock County since Beloit hosted one in May at Krueger Park. Confirmed cases—and negative test results—jumped significantly while that site was open and for a period of time after it closed.

The Reopen Rock Task Force has started two new programs aimed at slowing the spread of the disease and helping businesses remain open.

The task force will host a free, drive-thru mask distribution Saturday in six locations across Janesville and Beloit.

Reopen Rock is encouraging businesses to participate in its Stay Safe Pledge, which offers window clings for businesses abiding by safety guidelines such as wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing surfaces.

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