Kewaunee County residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 recently have told Public Health employees they thought they were just dealing with common cold or allergies, the county Public Health director told the County Board on Tuesday (Sept. 15).

“What we’ve heard in so many cases in the past two weeks was, ‘Well, we just thought it was allergies, so we went,’ or ‘Oh, well, it was just a little cold, I was just sneezing or coughing,’ but those have turned out positive,” Cindy Kinnard said. “We’re really encouraging people right now that if you have any of those symptoms just to stay home until you’re 24 hours free, at the very least, or to go get tested.

As of Tuesday the state Department of Health Services had recorded 277 positive tests in Kewaunee County, an increase of 89 since Sept. 1. Only one county resident is currently hospitalized, she said, but the number of cases has increased significantly.

“We’ve had several reports from weddings, from camping, parties, from just larger groups that have been getting together or families that have been getting together,” Kinnard said. “We’re seeing a lot more multiple cases within households, whereas in March we typically saw just one case in a household.”

As schools have reopened for the fall, there has not been much COVID-19 activity as yet.

“Our youth has been staying pretty much in line with where we want them to be,” she said.

Luxemburg-Casco sent out letters after two teachers tested positive, but a contact tracing investigation turned up no need to quarantine students or other staff, Kinnard said. Kewaunee had some issues with students who tested positive after attending class while symptomatic.

“We’ve done extensive teaching on the need for social distancing and masking and barriers and whatever those schools can do to maintain those kids in a classroom in a healthy way,” Kinnard said.