County extends mask advisory for 60 more days

By Patrick Lynn

Portage County is extending its face-covering advisory for another 60 days.

County Executive Chris Holman says the extension is needed as the trends for cases, hospitalizations, and deaths show no signs of change.

“The county has very high case activity with 324 current (active) cases—an increase of 92 cases over the weekend and an average increase of 27 cases per day,” Holman said in a news release on Monday. “As has happened from the start of the pandemic, cases will drive the numbers for hospitalizations and deaths.”

The county recently announced reaching the 50 percent milestone for fully vaccinated residents.

“This is an important number to follow, as the majority of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the county are occurring among the unvaccinated members of our community. This is true of other areas of the state and the US as well,” he said.

County residents who were previously infected with COVID-19 are also encouraged to speak with their doctor about receiving at least one dose of an mRNA vaccine in order to achieve hybrid immunity, which according to recent studies has been shown in some cases to provide previously infected individuals with a stronger immune response than those who are fully vaccinated and have never had COVID-19.

“So-called ‘natural infection’ remains a high-risk path with a long list of negative outcomes including Long COVID (AKA post-COVID conditions), which is associated with longer-term symptoms that, for many, have lingered for longer than four weeks after infection,” Holman said.

More information on Long COVID can be found here.

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