Just in time for the holiday break, cases of Covid-19 at Kohler Schools soared to 38 infected as of December 22. Numbers have nearly quadrupled from a week ago when there were 8 cases documented on December 17, according to the school district’s website.
The majority of the reported infections are among high schoolers with 23 positive cases. The elementary school has 7 cases, the middle school has 6, and 3 staff members are infected.
Nearby, the Sheboygan Area School District website reports active cases among 102 students 13 staff. The Sheboygan Falls district reported 29 cases (7 of them staff) as of December 13.
Sheboygan county as a whole hit 1,166 active cases on December 22, the most reported since exactly a year ago when there were 1,214 cases on December 23, 2020. Hospitalizations in Sheboygan County reached an all-time high of 41 this past Sunday, December 20. Deaths have remained relatively low, with 6 since December 1.
The state reported that on Wednesday, it added 5,309 new confirmed cases and 29 new deaths. Sheboygan is among 33 counties added to the critically high category. Other counties include Oconto, Brown, Outagamie, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Winnebago, Calumet, Waushara, Green Lake, and Fond du Lac.
According to federal data, omicron made up 92.3 percent of new cases in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio combined, while Delta only made up 7.7 percent of new cases in the same region.
Early omichron data from surges in South Africa and the UK suggest the variant seems to produce milder symptoms and fewer hospitalizations than Delta, but experts caution that they don’t know whether this is due to the variant itself being less virulent, or whether it’s because vaccines and/or past infections are leading to milder symptoms among most of the population. Regardless, the biggest concern is that hospitals and medical staff will be overwhelmed. The Sheboygan County Division of Public Health reported on December 20 that hospitals in the Southeast Region of Wisconsin are at capacity, in part due to the increased spread of COVID-19.