For a significant portion of the past two months, Racine County had the dubious distinction of having one of the highest percentages of positive COVID-19 tests in the state.

Numbers in the county topped out at more than 14% during stretch ending in late May. Last week, however, the number plunged to 3%.

While some have attributed the high percentage to the urban areas on the east side of the county, it’s important to note that communities in central and western Racine County account for the majority of deaths in the county – 36 of the 59 total fatalities as of Tuesday.

The updated coronavirus numbers are among the front-page stories in this week’s edition of the Burlington Standard Press. The newspaper will be available at local retail outlets on Thursday. Subscribers will receive their copies with Thursday’s mail.

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Here’s a look at some of the other stories in this week’s edition:


PETITION TARGETS BASD FOR CHANGE: An online petition calling on the Burlington Area School District to address systemic racism and update its black history curriculum has drawn hundreds of signatures. As of Monday, 426 people had signed on to support the changes requested in the letter addressed to the district and Board of Education. The petition was crafted by a relatively new group known as Burlington Coalition for Dismantling Racism.


RIDE-ALONG WITH THE SHERIFF: Sheriff Christopher Schmaling invites lawmakers to ride with deputies to witness firsthand the challenges of the job and the professionalism of the officers. The sheriff hopes the experience will provide a frame of reference for discussions of police reform.


JUNETEENTH CELEBRATED IN BURLINGTON: For the first time, the 155-year-old Juneteenth holiday came to Burlington June 19, when nearly 300 people of all races converged in Echo Veterans Memorial Park to better understand why the celebration is an important component to the civil rights movement.


PIPE BOMBS FOUND: A Burlington man who is under investigation for sexual assault of a child has been charged with having two pipe bombs in his West Chestnut Street home. Kyle Gustin, 37, was charged June 18 in Racine County Circuit Court with two counts of possessing improvised explosive devices.


ALCOHOL AT THE FAIR: Elkhorn approved a controversial request to allow limited alcohol sales at the Walworth County Fair in September. The move was made by fair officials in an attempt to raise revenue potentially lost to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The Walworth County Fair is the only fair in the area that has not been canceled.


BACK TO SCHOOL: Schools will have several options to consider when deciding on how to reopen for the fall under a plan released Monday by the state Department of Public Instruction. The plan, called Education Forward, is a nearly 90-page document containing multiple scenarios for what officials believe is an efficient and equitable return to school amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


BUSINESS: An area creative studio offers people of all abilities a chance to get out and make all kinds of art.


LIVING: Eight-year-old Ryder Derickson is among the area youth who mow lawns in a show of love to help people who struggle keeping their yards up.