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ELKHORN

Since its last update before the holiday weekend, Walworth County on Tuesday reported four more deaths from COVID-19—bringing the total to 16—and three more hospitalizations from the disease.

Carlo Nevicosi, deputy director of the county’s health department, said in an email Tuesday that the five most recent deaths reported have all come from long-term care facilities.

The county reported its 12th death from COVID-19 late last week.

The five people who died recently were all older than 80 and had “significant underlying health conditions,” Nevicosi added.

“These deaths highlight how devastating this disease can be for older adults, especially those with severe underlying medical conditions,” Erica Bergstrom, the county’s public health officer, said in a news release. “This is a sad day and a reminder of the continuing need to protect those at high risk for serious complications.”

The total case count also rose by 21 to 356 in Tuesday’s update, from 335 on Friday.

It’s highly likely that number will rise more given the wider availability of testing, which will come this week in the form of free drive-thru testing scheduled in Whitewater.

Walworth and Jefferson counties are working with the Wisconsin National Guard to hold the testing from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday at Perkins Stadium, 910 W. Schwager Drive, on the UW-Whitewater campus.

Having symptoms is not a requirement for testing there, and appointments are not needed.

Bergstrom said in a different news release that many with symptoms have had trouble getting tested, but not everyone with the disease shows symptoms, too.

“The goal of this clinic is to provide easy access to testing for anyone in the community,” she said.

All 16 of the county’s deaths involved patients older than 65 who had pre-existing medical conditions.

Six patients are currently hospitalized, which is up from three reported Friday.

Seventy-seven people are isolating at home, while 258 patients have recovered.

Tuesday’s update on the website listed 15 deaths in the county, but that update was as of 2 p.m. and reflects information as of Monday. Nevicosi’s email came later Tuesday.

Also in Walworth County, the county’s judges decided Thursday to keep in place their decision to suspend in-person court hearings until they come up with a plan to hold them in person.

Clerk of Courts Kristina Secord said in an email Tuesday that officials have set up a planning committee to figure out those details.{span class=”print_trim”}

Update: This story was updated at 7:49 p.m. Tuesday with comment from Erica Bergstrom.

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