The recent COVID spike is a serious matter and is spreading fast in the Waterford area. About 55% of the community are fully vaccinated and others are now protected naturally from a previous COVID infection. Dead are seventy-one (71) community members in the Waterford and Burlington school areas since the pandemic started. Hundreds more in our community are suffering from long-term effects (long haulers).
Our hospitals are much better at treating patients and many more treatments are now available. A vast majority of those hospitalized and dying are unvaccinated or are past due for a booster. Our hospitals and healthcare heroes are being stressed to the point of breaking once again. Data from earlier in the week shows that the Aurora Medical Center in Burlington has 12 patients hospitalized with COVID while another 11 remained hospitalized at Aurora Lakeland in Elkhorn. That number is expected to rise in the coming weeks.
As of today, the local transmission rate is 1,628. This rate is 16x higher than what is considered a “high” rate of transmission for infectious diseases in the community. This rate is also more than double the previous record peak set back in November 2020.
Some may remember seeing this video clip from September 2021 when District Administrator Ed Brzinski stated “If somebody accuses me of being too safe, I’m okay with that”. At that time there were frequent protests from a small group of citizens that adamantly opposed the requirement that students wear masks in the WGSD and WUHS schools.
The wearing of masks in our Waterford schools is now “suggested”. The word “recommended” was believed to be too strong. There appears to be no level of transmission at which following the CDC guidelines of wearing a mask is required. Finally, the school district, a government entity, no longer offers COVID testing on-site for students that exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
A few community members are seen protesting the WGSD mask requirement at Fox River on 9/20/2021
Now in January 2022, the state of Wisconsin is averaging about 20 COVID deaths per day. The Burlington and Waterford school district communities have experienced a total of 71 deaths since the pandemic began (Town of Waterford = 11, Village of Waterford = 7, Rochester = 7, and combined Burlington Area = 46 deaths). The District’s teaching staff are stressed beyond capacity and the availability of subs is at an all-time low. Hopefully, the two Waterford school districts will be able to keep in-person learning in place. Time will tell.