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Record 3,132 new coronavirus cases identified; death rate falls to 1%

COVID-19 case numbers on the rise
COVID-19 case numbers on the rise(test)
Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 2:09 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 8, 2020 at 4:55 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WBAY) - More than 16,000 coronavirus tests (16,656) had a record 3,132 positive results in the state’s latest COVID-19 report Thursday, beating the old record (2,892 on Saturday) by 240 more cases. Those positive tests were 18.8% of all the tests, the highest positivity rate in 3 days.

Hospitalizations remain high. The Department of Health Services reports 110 more COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in the past 24 hours, which would have been a record except for the 141 hospitalizations recorded Wednesday.

The death rate fell to 1%. It’s been creeping downwards as the number of new cases of the COVID virus exceeds the number of fatal infections. The death toll rose by 9 to 1,424 after two days of double-digit increases. COVID-19 patients died in in Clark, Lincoln, Marathon, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Sauk, Shawano, Sheboygan and Waukesha (2) counties, while one death attributed to Door County was removed.

There were positive tests in 69 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Bayfield, Pepin and Washburn were exceptions. Eight counties had triple-digit increases: Brown (319), Dane (107), Dodge (101), Eau Claire (158), Milwaukee (351), Outagamie (187), Waukesha (187) and Winnebago (232).

On the other side of the coin, Wisconsin has now had more than 1.5 million people test negative for the coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19. In its summary data, the state counts each person once even if they have multiple tests. This is the standard method used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its federal reporting and is a better indication of the spread of the coronavirus in a community. Data counting every test, rather than every person, can be also be found on the DHS website. By that method, an all-time high of 9.3% of tests were positive. To date, about 28% of Wisconsin’s population has been tested at least once.

To try to slow the spread of the virus, a state health order is now in effect that limits public gatherings to no more than 25 percent of a business’s or building’s total occupancy. It’s in effect through Friday, Nov. 6. There are several exceptions to the order (see related story).

The governor also activated a field hospital at the state fairgrounds in Wauwatosa, near Milwaukee, to receive patients who are recovering from COVID-19 when hospitals need to make room for more severe cases (see related story).

This is the third day in a row with more than 100 hospitalizations per day. Thursday, the Wisconsin Hospital Association reported 907 COVID-19 patients in hospitals at the same time with 228 of them in ICU, both all-time highs.

In the 13 hospitals in the eight-county Fox Valley Region, there are 139 COVID-19 patients and 11 in ICU. Ten of the 104 ICU beds are available, six more than Wednesday. The 10 hospitals in the seven-county Northeast Region have 153 COVID-19 patients, 52 in ICU. Eleven of the 207 ICU beds are available, three fewer than Wednesday. Statewide, 16% of all licensed medical beds, including 13.6% of ICU beds, are immediately available. These are beds for all patients, not just COVID treatment. Daily changes in hospitalization numbers take discharges and deaths into account.

To date, 8,061 people have been treated in Wisconsin hospitals for COVID-19. The hospitalization rate remains at 5.7%.

The DHS says 18.9% of all people who tested positive are still active cases -- a jump from 18.4% Wednesday. That’s 26,774 people who were diagnosed within the last 30 days and haven’t been medically cleared. There are 113,596 recovered cases, or 80.1% of all cases since early February.

The DHS also reports there are active investigations at 186 nursing homes in the state. It only takes one resident or staff member to test positive to trigger a health investigation at nursing homes. These include 10 facilities in Brown County, 9 in Waupaca County (5 of these are on the Wisconsin Veterans Home campus), 7 in Dodge County, 6 in Manitowoc County, and 5 each in Fond du Lac, Marinette and Outagamie counties.

Outagamie County has health investigations underway at 47 educational facilities and 17 workplaces (not counting health care facilities). Brown County has active investigations at 36 educational facilities and 23 workplaces. In all, there are 1,827 active health investigations in progress around the state.

[CLICK HERE to find a community testing site]

THURSDAY’S COUNTY CASE NUMBERS (counties with additional cases and/or deaths are indicated in bold)

Wisconsin*

  • Adams - 287 cases (+3) (4 deaths)
  • Ashland - 173 cases (+5) (2 deaths)
  • Barron - 553 cases (+18) (6 deaths)
  • Bayfield - 131 cases (1 death)
  • Brown - 11,173 cases (+319) (72 deaths)
  • Buffalo - 165 cases (+4) (2 deaths)
  • Burnett - 238 cases (+5) (4 deaths)
  • Calumet - 1,726 cases (+64) (6 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 730 cases (+32)
  • Clark – 510 cases (+8) (9 deaths) (+1)
  • Columbia - 986 cases (+39) (3 deaths)
  • Crawford – 220 cases (+10)
  • Dane – 10,841 cases (+107) (43 deaths)
  • Dodge – 2,369 cases (+101) (19 deaths)
  • Door - 462 cases (corrected figure) (+13) (3 deaths) (deaths revised -1 by state)
  • Douglas - 587 cases (+21)
  • Dunn - 725 cases (+19) (1 death)
  • Eau Claire - 2,369 cases (+158) (8 deaths)
  • Florence - 121 cases (+1) (2 deaths)
  • Fond du Lac – 2,694 cases (+94) (14 deaths)
  • Forest - 354 cases (+8) (7 deaths)
  • Grant – 1,300 cases (+32) (19 deaths)
  • Green - 647 cases (+15) (3 deaths)
  • Green Lake - 403 cases (+14)
  • Iowa - 251 cases (+8)
  • Iron - 150 cases (+1) (1 death)
  • Jackson - 194 cases (+5) (1 death)
  • Jefferson - 1,752 cases (+38) (8 deaths)
  • Juneau - 482 cases (+9) (2 deaths)
  • Kenosha - 3,875 cases (+57) (68 deaths)
  • Kewaunee - 762 cases (+20) (2 deaths)
  • La Crosse – 3,441 cases (+42) (8 deaths)
  • Lafayette - 374 cases (+11)
  • Langlade - 359 cases (+13) (2 deaths)
  • Lincoln - 375 cases (+4) (3 deaths) (+1)
  • Manitowoc – 1,556 cases (+51) (5 deaths)
  • Marathon - 2,183 cases (+87) (24 deaths) (+1)
  • Marinette - 1,191 cases (+24) (9 deaths)
  • Marquette - 366 cases (+6) (1 death)
  • Menominee - 139 cases (+9)
  • Milwaukee – 31,276 (+351) (548 deaths)
  • Monroe - 712 cases (+7) (3 deaths)
  • Oconto - 1,373 cases (+95) (4 deaths)
  • Oneida - 671 cases (+23) (4 deaths)
  • Outagamie – 6,080 cases (+187) (35 deaths) (+1)
  • Ozaukee - 1,555 cases (+27) (21 deaths) (+1)
  • Pepin – 73 cases
  • Pierce – 498 cases (+6) (7 deaths)
  • Polk – 303 cases (+5) (2 deaths)
  • Portage - 1,765 cases (+14) (12 deaths)
  • Price - 207 cases (+7)
  • Racine - 5,434 cases (+85) (98 deaths)
  • Richland - 261 cases (+17) (4 deaths)
  • Rock – 3,005 cases (+66) (34 deaths)
  • Rusk - 86 cases (+8) (1 death)
  • Sauk – 1,139 cases (+40) (5 deaths) (+1)
  • Sawyer - 268 cases (+5) (1 death)
  • Shawano – 1,415 cases (+57) (6 deaths) (+1)
  • Sheboygan - 2,374 cases (+53) (20 deaths) (+1)
  • St. Croix - 1,126 cases (+27) (9 deaths)
  • Taylor - 259 cases (+5) (4 deaths)
  • Trempealeau - 764 cases (+16) (2 deaths)
  • Vernon - 322 cases (+12) (1 death)
  • Vilas - 319 cases (+12) (1 death)
  • Walworth - 2,825 cases (+28) (35 deaths)
  • Washburn – 144 cases (2 deaths)
  • Washington - 3,098 cases (+70) (37 deaths)
  • Waukesha – 8,597 cases (+187) (96 deaths) (+2)
  • Waupaca – 1,495 cases (+65) (22 deaths)
  • Waushara - 524 cases (+25) (3 deaths)
  • Winnebago – 5,740 cases (+232) (38 deaths)
  • Wood - 1,013 cases (+26) (7 deaths)

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

  • Alger - 25 cases (+2)
  • Baraga - 42 cases (+5) (3 deaths)
  • Chippewa - 55 cases (+2)
  • Delta – 690 cases (+33) (13 deaths) (+2)
  • Dickinson – 256 cases (+16) (4 deaths) (+1)
  • Gogebic - 169 cases (+3) (1 death)
  • Houghton – 639 cases (+33) (4 deaths) (+1)
  • Iron – 263 cases (+3) (10 deaths)
  • Keweenaw – 12 cases (+2)
  • Luce – 18 cases (+1)
  • Mackinac - 65 cases (+2)
  • Marquette - 380 cases (+1) (12 deaths)
  • Menominee - 444 cases (+18) (3 deaths)
  • Ontonagon – 47 cases (+2)
  • Schoolcraft - 36 cases (+1)

*Viewers have asked us why the state has different numbers than what’s reported on some county health department websites. The DHS reports cases from all health departments within a county’s boundaries, including tribal, municipal and county health departments; county websites may not. Also, public health departments update their data at various times whereas the DHS freezes the numbers it receives by the same time every day to compile the afternoon report.

Viewers also ask how the Wisconsin Department of Health Services compiles its numbers. The state only counts a person once in its summary of positive and negative tests, no matter how many times a person might be tested (there is a recent exception to this, as you read in this article). The DHS reports deaths attributed to COVID-19 or in which COVID-19 contributed to their death. Most of the people severely affected by the coronavirus have underlying illnesses or conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or obesity, which raises a person’s risk of dying from COVID-19 but would’ve lived longer if not for their infection. The state may revise case and death numbers after further review, such as the victim’s residence, duplicated records, or a correction in lab results. Details can be found on the DHS website and Frequently Asked Questions.

Symptoms

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified these as possible symptoms of COVID-19:

  • Fever of 100.4 or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Prevention

  • The coronavirus is a new, or “novel,” virus. Nobody has a natural immunity to it. Children and teens seem to recover best from the virus. Older people and those with underlying health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease) are considered at high risk, according to the CDC. Precautions are also needed around people with developing or weakened immune systems.
  • To help prevent the spread of the virus:
  • Stay at least six feet away from other people
  • Avoid close contact with people who are or appear sick
  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Cancel events and avoid groups, gatherings, play dates and nonessential appointments
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care
  • Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask. At a minimum, use a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.

Health experts say face masks are still the most effective way the general public can slow the spread of the coronavirus, but only if the masks are worn appropriately -- over the nose and chin. County and state health officials are reminding and urging people to stay home when they feel sick, avoid large gatherings, and distance yourself six feet from people who aren’t from your household.

To help people understand how their decisions affect their own health and others, the Department of Health Services has a decision tool at https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/decision.htm. The tool describes how choices matter and offers suggestions to make activities safer.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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