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Pleasant View, Lafayette get vaccines
State comes to agreement on relief plans; new variant enters Wisconsin
covid vaccine health doctor

MONROE — Residents and staff members at Pleasant View received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 7. Pleasant View administration was notified that staff and residents would be receiving the Moderna vaccine, administered by Walgreens. 

Staff moved through the streamlined process efficiently, first checking in and receiving information about the vaccine. Walgreens staff verified each name and date of birth before administering the first dose of the vaccine. Pleasant View staff members then spent 15 minutes in the waiting area for monitoring. This time is in place for anyone receiving the vaccine as a safety protocol in order to observe for any adverse effects. Pleasant View Administrator Terry Snow was pleased that no staff members had a reaction to the vaccine. 

This was the first visit by Walgreens to administer this vaccine. They will return to Pleasant View again in February to administer the second dose. Any staff member that wanted additional time to decide on taking the vaccine will also have an opportunity to get their first dose during this visit. Staff from Walgreens will return a third time in March to administer second doses for these individuals. This vaccine is provided free of charge to staff and residents at Pleasant View from government funds. Although the vaccine is not mandatory, the Pleasant View Medical Director and clinical team encourages everyone at Pleasant View to examine the benefits, review the information and understand the impact that this vaccine can have on protecting all of us. 

“We’re very happy and thankful to be at the top of the list of vaccine distribution,” Administrator Terry Snow said. “Pleasant View has been following the COVID-19 guidance from CMS and DHS since early 2020. In addition, a separate COVID-19 unit was set-up for the care of residents who test positive for COVID-19. Currently there are no residents in this unit. Additionally, staff and residents are screened daily and frequent testing is conducted, including the rapid test with 15 minute results.”

In Lafayette County, it is anticipated that the State of Wisconsin will progress to the next phase of COVID-19 vaccinations later this month or early Feburary. Lafayette County Public Health and Memorial Hospital of Lafayette County (MHLC) are working together to prepare for advancing to the next phases. Part of this preparation is determining who is interested in receiving the vaccine. They are asking individuals who are interested in receiving the vaccine to either register in the portal at www.memorialhospitalof (preferred method) or call Lafayette County Public Health at 608-776-4895, please only do one of these options.

Be prepared to answer questions about occupation, age and medical conditions. This information is needed to determine when individuals will qualify for the vaccine based on State and Federal guidelines. Where and when individuals will receive the vaccine will be determined at a later date.

Lafayette County Public Health will be reaching out to law enforcement and fire fighters this week as they are eligible for their vaccine starting Jan. 18. Anyone in law enforcement or that is a fire fighter and have not heard from public health are asked to call 608-776-4895.

In Freeport and Stephenson County, the Senior Resource Center, in cooperation with the Stephenson County Health Department, is compiling a list of seniors aged 60 or better who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. The timeframe for delivery of the vaccine is currently unknown; however, as soon as that information is available it will be shared on the Senior Resource Center’s social media and in a press release. 

To be added to the COVID-19 vaccination list, residents should call the Senior Resource Center at 815-235-9777 and provide age, name, address, birth date and phone number, as well as whether transportation will be needed to receive the vaccine.

The Senior Resource Center offers programs, education and activities for older individuals, their families and caregivers in Stephenson and Jo Daviess counties. The programs include Adult Protective Services, Information & Assistance, Money Management, Case Management, Transit and Education & Activities. All programs are continuing to operate in various capacities, even though Senior Resource Center buildings are closed to foot traffic.

For more information or other questions about the Senior Resource Center, call (815) 235-9777 or go to the center’s website,

Wisconsin Senate approves COVID-19 relief package

MADISON (AP) — The Wisconsin Senate overwhelmingly passed a scaled-down COVID-19 relief package Tuesday, drawing a pledge from Gov. Tony Evers that he would sign the measure if clears the Assembly. But that looked unlikely after a key Republican leader in that chamber declared the package falls far short of what the GOP wants.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a COVID-19 relief deal in April but did nothing to address the pandemic all summer and fall. Evers and Republican legislative leaders began talking with each other about a second package late last year but couldn’t come up with an agreement.

Assembly Republicans went ahead and passed their own package last week. Evers, a Democrat, said he opposes it. Senate Republicans pared the proposal back, removing numerous provisions the governor and other Democrats opposed. The Senate passed the package 29-2 on Tuesday afternoon and sent it back to the Assembly.

Evers immediately issued a statement saying he would sign the amended version of the bill, calling it a “good start” toward addressing COVID-19 in the state. He said he was grateful to work with Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu on the changes and implored Assembly Speaker Robin Vos to pass it and send it to his desk.

“This is the unified governance our state needs right now,” Senate Republicans said in a joint statement.

More contagious COVID-19 variant detected in Wisconsin

MADISON (AP) — A new, more contagious form of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in Wisconsin, health officials said Wednesday.

State epidemiologist Ryan Westergaard told reporters during a video conference that state health officials received confirmation Tuesday that the variant had been detected through routine genome sequencing of a positive COVID-19 test for an Eau Claire County resident.

Westergaard said he had no information about the person other than he or she had traveled internationally in the two weeks before he or she was tested.

Elizabeth Giese, director of the Eau Claire City-County Health Department, said the person tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of December when the individual returned from the trip.

Contact tracers determined the individual had interacted only with members of his or her own household and all of them quarantined in their home, Giese said. She declined to release any further information about the person.

“We do not expect from this specific case for there to be community spread,” she said. “We did identify all the close contacts. They did all stay home. (But) we also know this variant strain is likely going to be circulating across our state.”

The variant was first discovered in England in November and December. It’s since turned up in Colorado, California, Florida, Minnesota, New York and Georgia.

Health officials have said the variant is more easily transmissible — Westergaard said researchers believe it’s nearly twice as contagious as the original COVID-19 virus — but it isn’t any deadlier and vaccines should be effective against it.

Westergaard said researchers aren’t sure why the variant is more contagious. It may attach more tightly to cell receptors in the body or it may take fewer variant particles to cause infection than the original COVID-19 virus, he said.

Only about 1% of positive tests in the state are routinely sequenced, which means the variant could be more widespread than anyone realizes, Westergaard said. He cautioned people to continue to wear masks, stay socially distanced and avoid gatherings.